“Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’
‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many’ ” (Mark 5:9, NIV).
Jesus doesn’t fear confrontation, even when it means standing against Hell itself. He never cowers in the face of evil. Jesus doesn’t run from danger, and he will go to the ends of the Earth to search for and save even one lost soul.
The Gospel writer Mark records a frightening, yet fascinating, account of a demon-possessed man and his life-altering encounter with Jesus. Mark’s description of the man is quite startling. He lives among the tombs in the region of the Gerasenes. No one can stand against him. Like a dog, the man is chained, and like a monster, he breaks the chains. He approaches Jesus, not out of aggression, but out of obedience, for “…even the demons submit…” in the presence of and at the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17, NIV). When asked by Jesus to identify himself, the man states, “My name is Legion…for we are many” (Mark 5:9, NIV). The demons speak for the man, but they have no authority over Jesus. The “Legion” of demons, the “We Are”, is no match for “Jesus”, the “I am”. At their request, Jesus casts the demons into a nearby herd of pigs, and to the demons’ surprise, the pigs stampede into the sea and drown. The collateral damage is massive, and the townspeople ask Jesus to leave the region, but the man, formerly demon-possessed, stays, providing a witness for Jesus to all who will listen.
Jesus referred to himself as the “I am”, identifying himself as the God of the Old and New Testaments. He said things like “…I am the bread of life…” (John 6:35, NIV) and “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6, NIV). Jesus, the personification of God, came down from Heaven and was victorious over the forces of Hell. Through the sacrifice of the “I am”, we are forgiven and free. And we, also, have an amazing story to share.