THE GERASENE DEMONIAC
Matthew says Gadarenes. Mark and Luke say Gergesa is identified with the ruins now called Kerza [Kersa, Gergesa], Gadara is thought to have been further south, near the southeast corner of the sea, a large city that give its name to the surrounding country. Gerasa was the particular village near which the incident happened. It is about five miles from the Jordan entrance. Just south of it is the only place where the steep hills come close to the water.
Matthew says there are two demoniacs. Luke and Mark mention only one, probably because he was the more notable, and more violent, of the two, and spokesman. A dangerous, wild lunatic, of immense muscular strength, dwelling naked among the tombs and in the desert, mutilating himself, and screaming in pain.
There were many demons, legion, in the two, probably most of them in the more violent man. There were 2,000 swine, probably at least that many demons.
They recognized the authority of Jesus immediately. Notice that the demons would rather live in swine than go to their own place. But they soon went anyhow.
They could control the man, but not the swine. They did not drive the swine into the sea. Neither the swine nor the demons wanted to go into the sea. The swine got panic-stricken, with the demons inside, and lost control of themselves on the precipitous hillside. Once on the move they could not stop.
Notice, too, that the natives wanted Jesus to get out of their country, for, though he had healed their insane, he had, in the act, destroyed their swine. They thought more of their swine than they did of their people. Such folks are not all dead yet.
Jesus told the man to go and tell about his cure. He had commanded the leper to say nothing his, and the two blind men, and many that he had healed in Galilee. The reason for the differences was that in Gerasa he was not as yet widely known, whereas in Galilee his publicity was already out of hand with popular movements budding to proclaim him a political king