One day, Jesus and his disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee to the country of the Gerasenes.
When they reached the other side, a man with an evil spirit came running up to Jesus.
This man was so strong that nobody could hold him down. People had even used chains to lock him up, but he kept breaking them.
He lived among the tombs in the area. Day and night this man would scream. He wore no clothes and cut himself repeatedly with stones. When the man came to Jesus, he fell on his knees in front of him. Jesus said, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit!”
The man with the evil spirit cried out in a loud voice and said, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please do not torture me!” Then Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” (A legion was a group of up to 6,000 soldiers.) It is interesting that the evil spirits knew who Jesus was but the people didn’t.
The evil spirits begged Jesus, “Please do not send us out of this area!” There was a herd of pigs feeding on a nearby hill. So, the evil spirits begged Jesus, “Please send us into the pigs instead!” Jesus said, “Go!”
The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs. The pigs ran down a steep bank into the sea and drowned. There were about 2,000 pigs in the herd. (It’s not stated if the owners of the unclean animals were Jewish).
When the people taking care of the pigs saw what happened, they ran and told everyone what Jesus had done. All the people came from the town and saw the man who used to have the evil spirits. He was sitting down, wearing clothes, and acting like a normal person.
The people were very afraid and asked Jesus to leave. So Jesus got into the boat and prepared to leave. The man who had been healed begged to go along with Jesus.
But Jesus said to him, “Go home and tell your friends and family how much God has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.”
So the man went away and told everyone about what Jesus had done for him. Everyone who heard his story was filled with wonder and amazement.
Jesus returned to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd gathered around him and pressed in on him. In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent all her money on doctors trying to get better, but she only got worse.
She heard how Jesus had healed many sick people and thought to herself, “If I only touch Jesus’ clothes, then I, too, will be healed!” She came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes. As soon as she touched Jesus, the bleeding stopped!
Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. So he turned around and asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples replied, “Jesus, there are many people crowding around you and bumping into you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
The woman fell on her knees before Jesus, shaking and very afraid. Then she told the whole truth. Jesus said to her, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be healed of your sickness.”