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.
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.