1

Mark 5:5-13 (NASB):

5 Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and cutting himself with stones. 6 Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; 7 and shouting with a loud voice, he *said, “What business do You have with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” 8 For He had already been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he *said to Him, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged Him earnestly not to send them out of the region. 11 Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding nearby on the mountain. 12 And the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us into the pigs so that we may enter them.” 13 Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the pigs; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea.

In this story, we have a demon-possessed Gadarene who saw Jesus from a distance, and immediately he appeared to have felt a strong compulsion to run up to Jesus and bow down before him. And when the man spoke to Jesus, it looks like the demons inside the man were the ones doing the speaking. They even recognized him as Jesus, Son of the Most High God (verse 7).

Question: Why did the demon-possessed Gadarene feel the sudden urge to run up to Jesus and bow down before him when he saw him from afar? Were the demons inside the ones who caused him to do this? And how did the man (or the demons inside the man) know that he was Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Where did the man (or the demons inside) get this information from?

4
  • You could also ask : Where did the 'demons' go, once the pigs "were drowned in the sea" ? - [Mark] does not say. – חִידָה Apr 15 at 20:47
  • Based on the Region of Legion - Were the demons "Gentile influences"? – חִידָה Apr 15 at 20:54
  • @חִידָה - do you mean these are unanswerable questions? – Spirit Realm Investigator Apr 15 at 21:38
  • See John 18:3-6, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. – Lucian Apr 30 at 1:33
1

And how did the demons inside the man know that he was Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Where did they get this information from?

The demons got this info from what happened years earlier in Luke 1:

26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.

Why did the demon-possessed Gadarene feel the sudden urge to run up to Jesus and bow down before him when he saw him from afar?

Philippians 2:10

at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Were the demons inside who caused him to do this?

Yes.

1

The verb προσκυνέω (proskuneó) occurs 60 times in the NT, 24 just in the book of Revelation alone. In all but two cases, this verb is used to describe someone prostrating themselves before God or Jesus or a presumed god in an act of worship. The exceptions are important as listed below.

BDAG defines this word as follows:

to express an attitude of gesture of one's complete dependence on or submission to a higher authority figure (fall down and) worship, do obedience to, prostrate oneself before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully.

Later in the same article, BDAG says this about the verb where it is applied as reverence to humans:

to human beings but by this act they are to be recognized as belonging to the superhuman realm

Exceptions to people prostrating themselves to (the true) God, (false or mistaken) god or Jesus:

  • Matt 18:26 - the indebted servant begs the lender in the fictitious parable of Jesus
  • Rev 3:9 - Look at those who belong to the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews but are liars instead. I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and they will know that I love you.

Thus, it appears that according to Mark 5:6, 7 the demons recognized Jesus as Divine and with authority over them.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. James 2:19.

This is despite the devil/Satan asking Jesus to bow before him in Matt 4:8-10. It is also confirmed by the obedience of the demons to the indirect command of the Jesus via the disciples in Luke 10:17. It is in this latter sense that we should probably understand the figurative reference in Rev 3:9.

2
  • (1) So, do you mean the demons inside the Gadarene were worshiping Jesus, or do you mean that Mark 5:6 is an exception to the rule? (2) What about my follow-up questions: And how did the man (or the demons inside the man) know that he was Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Where did the man (or the demons inside) get this information from? – Spirit Realm Investigator Apr 15 at 22:59
  • 1
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator - Ahh! Yes the demons, who completely controlled the man, bowed before Jesus - they knew who He was because Satan had tempted Jesus in the Desert - they were very well aware of who Jesus was. That is why the mention of Jesus' name made them obey when the disciples used that "wonderful name". – Dottard Apr 15 at 23:05
1

Why did the demon-possessed Gadarene feel the sudden urge to run up to Jesus and bow down before him when he saw him from afar?
As you mention about vs. 7, the demons recognized who Jesus was and the authority Jesus has over them.

Were the demons inside the ones who caused him to do this?
The parallel account at Luke 8:26-39 sheds some light. Verse 29 mentions that the man "was repeatedly bound with chains and fetters and kept under guard, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the isolated places." So yes, the demons where causing the man to do this.

And how did the man (or the demons inside the man) know that he was Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Where did the man (or the demons inside) get this information from?
In the parallel account at Matthew 8:28-34, the demon asks Jesus "Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?" (vs. 29) As spirit creatures, they either had access to Jehovah God, as Satan did (Job 1:6) or could have gained the knowledge from Satan himself.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.