November 14 - Luke 8:26-39 - Legion
IN THOSE DAYS, Jesus arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. As He stepped out on land, a man from the town who was possessed by demons for a long time came out to meet Him. And the man wore no clothes, and did not live in a house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, saying, “What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For many times it had seized the man, he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles. But he would break the chains and be driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And the demons begged Jesus not to order them to go into the abyss. Now there on the mountain a large herd of swine was feeding, and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter into those pigs. So He gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered into the pigs. And the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the countryside. Then people came out to see what had happened. And when they came to Jesus, they found the man, from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen everything told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave them, for they were seized with great fear. So He got into the boat and returned. The man, from whom the demons had gone out, begged to go with Jesus, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and proclaim what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city what great things Jesus had done for him.
Saint Ephrem the Syrian on the exorcism of the demons, says,
The Gadarenes established a ruling for themselves that they would not come out or view the signs of our Lord. Consequently, He drowned their swine, so that they would have to come out against their will. "Legion," which had been chastened, is a symbol of the world. He commanded the demons to enter the swine and not the man. He engaged in battle against Satan on the mountain and against Legion, the chief of his force. When they entered the swine, He drowned them at that very moment. The force of the merciful One Who was keeping watch over this man was known by this.
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