ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Jesus' Handling of The Demon Possessed Legion Can Teach Us About Pastoral Care

Updated on May 7, 2012

The following is an assignment I did for Pastoral Care at Bible College. I am so amazed to have found such a rich expression of the love of Christ in such a strange place as an account of the Son of God's dealings with the Demon-possessed Legion.

Legion. Mark 5.1-20

Firstly, that Jesus is ministering in Gerasa, a territory that is not Jewish teaches His fully inclusive attitude of care and grace to all peoples. This in itself is a very important concept to bear in mind when possessing pastoral care responsibilities. It is revolutionary in the sense that it really does testify that pastoral care is not only necessarily for believers, but non- believers too. This must have an impact on all outreach and evangelical efforts.

Constantly all night and all day he was crying out and gashing himself with stones. The people had bound and chained him even with iron, and he had even broken free of that restraint. It is staggering to note how vastly different Jesus’ response to this man was. He does not seek to bind him- though He is the only one strong enough to. But what He does in fact do is the very opposite- He frees him. Society had responded to this man’s condition with attempts to control and repress, and this is often the case in modern society too. Out of fear or discomfort society tries to exert control over people when they exhibit offensive or dangerous behaviour, which in some cases, such as crime and deviance may be necessary. Jesus sees the route of the problem and He treats it. In pastoral care it is vital to not just treat the symptoms, which can include imposing sanctions, but to genuinely aim to heal those afflicted with negative behaviours.

Jesus sends the man who had been a social outcast to be a messenger to the ten cities. That would have meant meeting and communicating with a lot of people. This is full circle restoration. This would most likely include preaching the hope of Jesus mission to the people who had bound and ostracised him. Jesus would have been aware of the gravity of this commission to Legion, and in doing this He pushes Legion towards his God given purpose. Thus Jesus pastoral care here has brought this man from being afflicted to being healed and set free by the hope of the Gospel message to being a part- taker in the work of the Gospel. Pastoral care can benefit much from this approach of restoring the afflicted and freeing people to be part- takers in producing fruit in God’s Kingdom.

We are shown however that Jesus wanted to help the man. We know this firstly because Jesus chooses to discern the man’s problem in asking the demon’s name. As Jesus surely already knows all things he would have known the Demon’s name and that there were many of them? So it would seem he does this to set an example of pastoral sincerity in finding out the facts of the problem, and the details. It’s already clear that he’s demon possessed but Jesus still asks the question.

Jesus encounter with Legion also teaches about the common theme in the Gospel of His care for a person’s physical well- being and not just spiritual health. After Jesus had delivered Legion from his spiritual sufferings Legion was described as being seated and clothed (5:15). Where did his clothes come from if not from Jesus and His disciples? This is reminiscent of Jesus telling His disciples to feed the people gathered to hear Him with the loaves and fish. Jesus was concerned for the physical bodies of the people as well as the spiritual health. This is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar

Further to being found clothed and seated, Legion is described as being ‘in his right mind’. Though Jesus has delivered him from the evil spirits which dwelt within him, this man had undeniably undergone a horrific experience that would undoubtably mentally scar anyone. However, Legion is in a clear state of mind and showing no mental ill- effects of his experience, this demonstrates that Jesus has carried out a holistic approach to pastoral care on this man. He has healed his spirit, body and mind. This is something to be learned from in pastoral care because one’s mental, spiritual and physical well- being impact upon one another. Encouraging one’s spiritual health while overlooking their mental health, for instance, will only result in the poor state of mental health oppressing spiritual health.

Legion’s response to this situation was a desire to follow Jesus and have fellowship with Him. This is very similar to King Nebuchadnezzar when God restored his sanity (Daniel 4:34-37). Thus Jesus had created in Legion a healed and grateful heart. This is surely always the desired outcome in pastoral care.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • gracefaith profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Tamarajo.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this hub which was based on a pastoral reflection paper I did. I took a lot from my research and reflection on this that I hadn't thought of before and I am glad that you did too.


    • Tamarajo profile image


      5 years ago

      I enjoyed your practical application and insight into this portion of scripture and your wise summarization...

      "it is vital to not just treat the symptoms, which can include imposing sanctions, but to genuinely aim to heal those afflicted with negative behaviours"

      I also had never considered where the man got his clothing from. There is so much to be learned in the details.

      I appreciate this useful lesson


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)