And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils…
In introduction, distinguish between the genuine possession by an evil spirit and the phenomena of madness, or the most of those instances of merely bodily plague which in the worst times have probably nevertheless been the result and degenerate outgrowth. of the extremes of sensuality and intemperance. Also allude to the fact that only one demoniac is mentioned by St. Mark and St. Luke. Note therewith that here, though it is said "they" both spoke and cried to Jesus, yet only one form of words is given. In passing, note also how, in the account of each evangelist, this narrative follows that of the stilling of the storm and tempest in the material world. Notice -
I. A DREADFUL TYPE IN BODILY LIFE OF THE MAN WHOSE SPIRIT, GIVEN HIM WHEREWITH TO RULE AND "HAVE 'DOMINION," IS OVERRULED AND OVERMASTERED BY AN EVIL SPIRIT, AND EXERCISES BUT A VERY PRECARIOUS AND OCCASIONAL SWAY OF ITS OWN.
II. THE EXTRAORDINARY BUT MOST SIGNIFICANT ACTION OF THIS DUALITY OF SPIRIT WHICH MANIFESTED ITSELF AT THE CRISIS OF THE APPROACH OF JESUS CHRIST, The "he" who met Jesus, and ran to him as by irresistible instinct or attraction, and "worshipped," and "fell down" before him, and the other "he" (or "they") of whose devilish inspiration were the words which the victim used. How graphic, how dramatic, how dreadful the parable the description speaks of the conflict and the strife in the soul between itself in deep need, deep distress, deep consciousness, and the odious tyrant that hems him at bay!
III. THE NOTICE TO QUIT NOW, AND THE MORE SIGNIFICANT SUGGESTION THAT THE NOTICE, YET TO COME ONE DAY, WOULD BE A LONGER NOTICE, ONE TO QUIT FOR EVER, The entreaty of the united legion, by the lips of the oppressed and tormented demoniac, is that they shall not be banished the "country" (i.e. the world); and should not be sent into "the deep" (i.e. the unseen domain), where there would be no "wicked," no "weary" from whatsoever cause, for such to possess and tyrannize. And this entreaty betokened sufficiently plainly what they knew of their ultimate destiny, and what they bad in view in deprecating being "tormented before the time." Note the easy prey that the vast number of swine were to the evil spirit or spirits; and how is thereby set forth the strong power to resist of the human soul, and its long-continued power to resist, and in the same relative proportion the prolonged, unutterable suffering and anguish.
IV. THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE COWARDLY AND SELFISH GADARENES IN BESEECHING CHRIST TO DEPART, AND THE IMPASSIONED PRAYER OF THE RECOVERED DEMONIAC TO BE PERMITTED TO REMAIN WITH CHRIST. Conclude by remarking on the fearful compliance on the part of Jesus with the one entreaty, arid his most gracious refusal of the other. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.