Looking at the Story of the Demonized Man at Gergesa in Mark’s Gospel, Part 2

For Part 1, click here

Last time we looked at this story in the Gospel of Mark together, we examined how Mark uses the word ischuo with a special significance throughout his Gospel.1

In the very beginning, John the Baptist claims Jesus is the “stronger” one by virtue of the Holy Spirit that empowers him.

Later, in ch. 3, Jesus claims that he is the one who has bound the strong one Beelzebul, implying that Jesus is stronger.Furthermore, Jesus is plundering his house. He goes on to connect this with the Holy Spirit just as John did before: it is not the power of Satan that allows him to do this, but the Holy Spirit of God that he wields and that wields him.

Mark hints in the story of Legion that Jesus is again facing the “strength” of the strong man, Beelzebul. However, Mark dramatically reveals partway through the story that the battle is not like before. Instead of just facing off with one unclean spirit, Jesus is now set against thousands of them. After establishing this, Jesus dispatches them with almost no effort. The power of Beelzebul is so far no match at all for Jesus.

There were two more components of the story that I wanted to look at. In this post we will be looking at one of them, which is the significance of Jesus’ allowing the unclean spirits to enter the herd of pigs and their subsequent drowning in the sea.

Continue reading “Looking at the Story of the Demonized Man at Gergesa in Mark’s Gospel, Part 2”