Jesus and His disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When He got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met Him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain Him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, He had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by Him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. … As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But he would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
BEGAN TO PROCLAIM IN THE DECAPOLIS. Though sent for the lost house of Israel, Jesus also travels through Gentile territories. In Gerasa, he meets a man possessed by evil spirits who call themselves Legion. Jesus casts out the spirits and, at their request, sends them into a herd of swine that rushes over the cliff and drowns in the sea. Seized with fear and distressed at their loss, the Gerasenes beg Jesus to leave the place. In contrast, the healed man asks to follow Jesus. But Jesus entrusts him with the mission to be an apostle to the Gentiles, proclaiming to his family and friends what God’s mercy has done for him.
Healing is for mission.