This post is one in a series of reflections for Lent. I invite you to go back and read the previous reflections.
Jesus enter a gentile region called the Decapolis. It was an area of ten cities. As they are walking along, a man who is possessed runs out of a cemetery to meet him. The man is wild. The people had tried to restrain him. He was able to break free, and no one was strong enough to restrain him. The man bowed before Jesus. He then asks Jesus why he is interfering with them. He identifies Jesus as the Son of the Most High. The demons then beg Jesus for mercy. He demands the name of the demon and commands them to exit the man. The demon says their name is legion. The man is possessed with many demons. The demons again beg for mercy from Jesus. They ask Jesus for permission to enter a herd of pigs. The demons enter the pigs and the pigs run off into the sea.
The people of the region have just lost their livelihood. Their pigs ran into the sea. The herdsmen are scared of Jesus. The people from the town run out to meet Jesus. They see that this man is dressed and he appears sane. They had to be amazed. This man had lived among the tombs, and now he is dressed and looks normal.
Jesus and his disciples are prepared to leave the area. The man begs Jesus to go along with him. Jesus tells him no. He tells him he ought to go home and tell everyone what God has done for him. The man returns to his home.
There are a couple of things we can draw from this story. First, even the demons recognize who Jesus is. Not only did they know who he was, but they feared him. They bowed before Jesus and begged for his forgiveness. Second, the man desired to go along with Jesus. Jesus knew the man had a role to play in his ministry and it wasn't to follow him in his ministry. He had a mission to tell the people of the Decapolis. We are similarly situated. God has placed in places and among people to minister to them. It should serve as a bit of a conviction that the demons worshipped Jesus. Are we always that willing to worship? We have to truly grasp the identity of Jesus, and then we should serve him where he has placed us.