Mark 5

In Mark 5: 1-20, Jesus heals the Gerasene demoniac.

He has crossed the Sea of Galilee to the region of the Gerasenes, where a man ‘with an unclean spirit,’ lives. He is a man who is well known in the region for his madness. Efforts to restrain this man have completely failed: “the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him.”

When this man sees Jesus coming, he runs out to him and bows before him. When Jesus says to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit,” the man shouts, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” Jesus asks him his name, and he answers, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Jesus orders the unclean spirits out of the man, and they enter a herd of swine, who run into the sea.”

James Fowler asserts: “Today it is well known that multiple personality disorder generally results from severe and protracted early childhood abuse, often including sexual abuse. Apparently Jesus conveyed such authority and such acceptance of this man (and of others like him) that his soul, split and shattered like a broken crystal, could find healing and reintegration. Grace is the most powerful antidote to shame. This man must have felt a grace of such acceptance and of value as to make possible the opening of his repressed memories and the reunification and integration of his divided selves.”[1]

[1] James Fowler, “Faithful Change,” p143.

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