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The City of Fear
Now getting back to the madman of Gadera…if you’re like me, you’ve wondered, Why are 6,000 devils and one commander hanging out with this guy?

That seems like a lot of “fire power” for just one crazy man.

To get an answer to this question, let’s take a look at how the citizens of that area responded to what happened between Jesus and their hometown madman.

Let’s pick up with Mark 5:11-17:
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought [Jesus], saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
Here is a man who has been running around naked, living in a graveyard and doing all sorts of bizarre and wicked things. Suddenly, he is gloriously delivered by the power of God. He is wearing clothes once again, and he is in his right mind. Yet, instead of the townspeople being thrilled that he had been delivered, they were filled with fear. So much so that verse 17 says that the people “began to pray [Jesus] to depart out of their coasts.”

In this passage, the word pray means to “earnestly, sincerely beg.” So the people in and around these cities of Decapolis were actually begging Jesus to leave.


Luke 8 also recounts this incident and it tells us that “the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought [Jesus] to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear” (verse 37).

The people responded to Jesus’ ministry of deliverance with great fear.

And there’s our answer as to why they wanted Jesus to leave…fear.

Fear was what this legion of devils and their commander were all about. Over a period of time they had been able to build a stronghold of fear and control the whole coastal area.

Consequently the people of this city and surrounding areas constantly lived under fear. It dominated the heavenlies—the spiritual atmosphere—over that entire region.

It was fear that came running to meet Jesus when His boat landed. Fear wanted to know what He was up to. Fear ran to tell what Jesus had done to a herd of 2,000 swine. Fear wanted to know what He had done to the crazy man.

And, of course, it was fear that begged Jesus, “Oh…please, please, please get out of here!”

Drowning in a Sea of Fear

If you study the scriptures carefully, you begin to realize that Jesus and His disciples encountered the stronghold of fear set up in Decapolis before they landed on its shores and met up with the madman of Gadera and his 6,001 devils.

Actually it started the night before they arrived, out on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus’ disciples were certain they were going to die…and Jesus was going to sleep through the whole thing. We find the following account of it in Mark 4:35-41.
When the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
First the disciples feared the storm. Then they feared Jesus.

There is a pattern here. The disciples feared the storm, then they feared Jesus—who actually delivered them from the storm.

Likewise the people of the country of the Gadarenes feared what happened to the swine and to the madman. Then they feared Jesus—who delivered the man from the demons.

If it wasn’t fear of one thing, it was fear of another. And behind all that fear was a legion of devils and their commander. They were ruling over and controlling that whole area. And I guarantee you they were the ones responsible for the storm that blew up that night on the Sea of Galilee.

Why would the devils do that?

Simply because they were trying to protect their territory.

Jesus and His disciples were headed straight toward the stronghold of fear that “legion” had built, and “legion” didn’t want anyone messing with it.

Excerpt permission granted by Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc. 
aka: Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.

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