“When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.” Luke 8: 27-29
Not a Pretty Picture
Mark 5 lends more information on the condition of the demoniac. In the lands surrounding Palestine, demonic possession in Jesus’ day was not uncommon. Demon worship and even dedicating one’s child to the Devil was not unheard of. Thus, it could be that this no-name person has been demon-possessed for quite some time. This demoniac is not a pretty sight. His arms and legs are most likely ringed with concentric layers of scar tissue, the result of repeatedly pulling at the chains that others used to try and confine him to this place of the living dead. Now free of those chains (Mk. 5:3), he tortures himself by gashing his body with stones. Some of his recent wounds might still be oozing puss and blood. From both a physical and a spiritual perspective, he is nauseating and repulsive to behold!