Mark 5:15
And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
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(15) And had the legion.—This special form of the antithesis between the man’s past and present state is given by St. Mark only.

5:1-20 Some openly wilful sinners are like this madman. The commands of the law are as chains and fetters, to restrain sinners from their wicked courses; but they break those bands in sunder; and it is an evidence of the power of the devil in them. A legion of soldiers consisted of six thousand men, or more. What multitudes of fallen spirits there must be, and all enemies to God and man, when here was a legion in one poor wretched creature! Many there are that rise up against us. We are not a match for our spiritual enemies, in our own strength; but in the Lord, and in the power of his might, we shall be able to stand against them, though there are legions of them. When the vilest transgressor is delivered by the power of Jesus from the bondage of Satan, he will gladly sit at the feet of his Deliverer, and hear his word, who delivers the wretched slaves of Satan, and numbers them among his saints and servants. When the people found that their swine were lost, they had a dislike to Christ. Long-suffering and mercy may be seen, even in the corrections by which men lose their property while their lives are saved, and warning given them to seek the salvation of their souls. The man joyfully proclaimed what great things Jesus had done for him. All men marvelled, but few followed him. Many who cannot but wonder at the works of Christ, yet do not, as they ought, wonder after him.Sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind - There could be no doubt of the reality of this miracle. The man had been well known. He had long dwelt among the tombs, an object of terror and alarm. To see him all at once peaceful, calm, and rational, was proof that it was the power of God only that had done it.

They were afraid - They were awed, as in the presence of God. The word does not mean here that they feared that any evil would happen to them, but that they were affected with awe; they felt that God was there; they were struck with astonishment at what Jesus had done.

15. And they come to Jesus—Matthew (Mt 8:34) says, "Behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus."

and see him that was possessed with the devil—the demonized person.

and had the legion, sitting—"at the feet of Jesus," adds Luke (Lu 8:35); in contrast with his former wild and wandering habits.

and clothed—As our Evangelist had not told us that he "ware no clothes," the meaning of this statement could only have been conjectured but for "the beloved physician" (Lu 8:27), who supplies the missing piece of information here. This is a striking case of what are called Undesigned Coincidences amongst the different Evangelists; one of them taking a thing for granted, as familiarly known at the time, but which we should never have known but for one or more of the others, and without the knowledge of which some of their statements would be unintelligible. The clothing which the poor man would feel the want of the moment his consciousness returned to him, was doubtless supplied to him by some of the Twelve.

and in his right mind—but now, oh, in what a lofty sense! (Compare an analogous, though a different kind of case, Da 4:34-37).

and they were afraid—Had this been awe only, it had been natural enough; but other feelings, alas! of a darker kind, soon showed themselves.

See Poole on "Mark 5:1"

And they come to Jesus,.... Who had wrought this miracle, and of which, and whom, the keepers of the swine had given them some account:

and see him that was possessed of the devil, and had a legion. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions leave out the last clause, "and had a legion", and so Beza's ancient copy; the Persic version renders it, "the legion being gone out of him": they saw, along with Jesus, the man who had been possessed with a legion of devils, whom they knew very well to be the same man;

sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid; not of the man, as they were before, when he was possessed, not daring to come that way because of him; but of Christ, and his amazing power; who was able to dispossess a legion of devils, and restore a man to his perfect senses, to such composure and decency, who was before in such a dreadful condition, and so exceeding furious and outrageous: they saw the man was still and quiet, harmless and inoffensive; they had nothing to fear from him; but they knew not what to make of Christ: they might take him for an exorcist, or a magician, and fear that he would exercise his art to the ruin and destruction of them: they did not fear and reverence him as a divine person, but they dreaded him, as one possessed of a power of doing hurt: they were conscious to themselves of their sins, and that they deserved the just judgments of God upon them; and they were afraid that Christ was sent to execute them upon them: and it is observable, that they say not one word to him, by way of complaint, for the loss of their swine; but thought themselves well off, could they but get rid of him. There was a strange change and alteration in the man; he, who before was running about among the tombs, and upon the mountains, and scarce ever sat still, but was always in motion, as persons distracted commonly are, was now sitting at the feet of Jesus, his kind benefactor, Luke 8:35, and he who before was naked, and whenever any clothes were put upon him, tore them off again, and to pieces, as madmen usually do, was now "clothed"; perhaps with some the swine herds had left behind them, in their fright, or the disciples had with them: and he who before was quite out of his senses, knew not what he said, or did, was now "in his right mind"; of a sound mind, of a good understanding, sober, modest, and knowing. This man, as whilst under the possession of Satan, was an emblem of a man in a natural estate; so, being now dispossessed, he very aptly represented a converted man; who, being brought out of a state of nature, out of an horrible pit, a pit wherein is no water, is "sitting" at the feet of Jesus; where he places himself, imploring his grace and mercy, entreating him to receive and save him, resolving, if he perishes, he will perish there; and where he is, as a scholar, at the feet of his master, hearing his words, and receiving instruction from him; and which also is expressive of his submission to his Gospel and ordinances, and of pleasure and continuance under them; as well as of that calmness and serenity of mind, which attends a sense of justification, pardon, reconciliation, and adoption, and hope of glory: and whereas, before he was naked, and without a righteousness, or, which was no better than filthy rags; he is now "clothed" with the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, with fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints, with change of raiment, and clothing of wrought gold; the righteousness of Christ being not only imputed to him by the Father, but revealed in the Gospel, brought near by the Spirit, and put upon him, and received by faith; as well as having put on the new man, and being clothed with humility, and other graces of the Spirit, and with the garments of a holy conversation; and so will at last be clothed with the shining robes of immortality and glory. Such an one, who before was not himself, is now "in his right mind"; is come to himself like the prodigal; is become sensible of the evil of sin, and is brought to true repentance for it; and of his lost state and condition, of his need of Christ, and salvation by him; has his spiritual senses exercised upon Christ; beholds the loveliness and suitableness of him as a Saviour, hears his voice, handles him, the word of life, tastes the sweetness there is in him, and in his Gospel, and savours the things of his Spirit; and whose senses also are exercised to discern between good and evil, and truth and error; who likewise has a new heart, and a right Spirit created in him; and has the same mind in him, as was in Jesus Christ, for humility and lowliness; and whose mind is stayed upon him, and trusts in him.

And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
15. clothed] because, as St Luke informs us (Mark 8:27), before the wretched man wore no clothes. “On descending from the heights of Lebanon, I found myself,” writes Warburton, “in a cemetery … The silence of the night was now broken by fierce yells and howlings, which I discovered proceeded from a naked maniac, who was fighting with some wild dogs for a bone.” The Crescent and the Cross, II. 352.

Mark 5:15. Καθήμενον, ἱματισμένον, σωφρονοῦντα, sitting, clothed, in his sound mind) whereas previously he had been without rest, clothes, and the use of his reason. Those who had witnessed the miracle may have given him the clothes. He put forth and showed his possession of reason in his actions.—τὸν λεγεῶνα, the legion) This name seems to have been known in that locality, and to have kept the inhabitants in a state of fright. For there is not any other apparent cause why this appellation, which describes the fact as they found it, should be repeated.[42]

[42] The larger Ed. is not so much in favour of this repetition as Ed. 2, the Gnomon, and Vers. Germ. ABLΔ read τὸν ἐσχ. τ. λεγεῶνα (BLΔ, λεγιωνα). But Dbc Vulg. Memph. Versions omit the words.—ED.

Verse 15. - And they come to Jesus, and behold him that was possessed with devils sitting, clothed and in his right mind, even him that had the legion; and they were afraid. St, Luke adds that they found him sitting at the feet of Jesus. It is likely enough that the man, as soon as he found himself dispossessed, had east himself at the feet of Jesus, and was worshipping him; but that, when hidden by Christ to sit, he chose to place himself at his feet. "He was clothed, and in his right mind." What a contrast to the previous description! "And they were afraid." They dreaded Christ's power. They saw that he was almighty; but they did not seek to know his love, and so to attain to that love which "casteth out fear." Mark 5:15See (θεωροῦσιν)

Rev., rightly, behold. For it was more than simple seeing. The verb means looking stedfastly, as one who has an interest in the object, and with a view to search into and understand it: to look inquiringly and intently.


Compare Luke 8:27. For a long time he had worn no clothes.

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