God Seeks You – A Powerful Lesson From Legion In The Bible

Legion in the Bible is a powerful story that reminds us of the power of our God, it also reminds us that no one is too far from His reach. In this story of a big God seeking out one tortured soul, there is so much hope for our everyday lives and reminders of the character of our God. 

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Legion Bible Story

Only He knows where to meet us, only He knows where to break through the walls imprisoning us. Only He can find us when everyone else has given up. Only He journeys out- only God stops everything to seek us out. How often I’m surprised by God’s priorities- because I’ve rushed ahead instead of stepping in tandem and letting Him lead. I find myself wordless, breathless, awestruck in the face of His goodness.

Legion In The Bible Verse

The story of Legion in the Bible can be found in Mark 5 and Luke 8, we don’t get a ton of information on the man only known as Legion in the Bible, only that he had been in this condition for a long time. Because of the legion of demons possessing him, he has been driven into solitary places and is now living amongst the tombs of his village alone and hopeless. People have tried to keep him from hurting himself, they tried to restrain him but the Bible says that he was able to break the chains binding him. It also tells us that Legion in the Bible was in great anguish, and would cry out and cut himself with sharp stones.

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. Mark 5:1-5 NIV

While similar I think these two accounts of Legion in the Bible add depth to his story as we compare them. Mark jumps straight into the story, while Luke gives us a bit more detail to develop the story. 

They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Luke 8:26-29 NIV

From these two accounts several things are clear about Legion in the Bible:

  • Jesus and the disciples cross the Sea of Galilee to the region of Gerasenes.
  • No reason is given for this sudden trip.
  • When Jesus steps foot on the shore He is met by a demon possed man known as Legion.
  • This man has been beyond the help of human hands. He’s been living in bondage, in secluded places, and living in absolute anguish. 
  • Legion in the Bible calls out to Jesus acknowledging who He is (son of the Most High God), and asks what Jesus wants from him.

Who Is Legion In The Bible?

Legion in the Bible is a man possessed by demons, his encounter with Jesus changed his life. Like so many others that Jesus seeks out to save, he was out of hope. He was beyond the help of human hands, no one could save him, no one could set him free- until Jesus stepped foot on that shore. 

We don’t know much of Legion in the Bible’s back story, or what happened to bring him to this place. We don’t know how many people had tried to help him, or where his family has ended up. Instead, the Bible introduces us to a tortured man desperate for a savior. 

Meaning Of Legion In The Bible

The meaning of Legion in the Bible is a multitude or a large number of beings. The word Legion was common in Biblical times because it was the largest unit in the Roman army. At this time a legion averaged about 5,000 fighting men (this number could vary having thousands of more troops in the unit, or fewer). When this possessed man tells Jesus his name is legion in Mark 5 and Luke 8 demoniac of the Gerasenes was possessed by a large number of unclean spirits or demons.

What Is Legion’s Real Name?

Sadly this demonic identity has taken completely over this man’s identity. The Bible does tell us what this man’s name really is. We can only identify him as Legion. 

The Man Possessed By Legion In The Bible

 
Perhaps… perhaps one night when this man known as Legion in the Bible was up crying on one side of the lake, Jesus was up early on the other praying. His cries would have echoed over the water, and maybe hearing his cries Jesus decided to go seek Him out like the woman with the issue of bleeding
 
 
I’m left speechless, as He stops everything for one. One little forgotten, inconsequential, person. And yet we find that he is far from unimportant. As Jesus and the disciples crossed the lake from their home turf to the side of the Gentiles, to seek this man out a storm arose. The waves crashed over the boat, the storm raging around them keeping them from the other side of the lake. I can’t help but wonder if this man sensed the significance of the storm. If hope flickered slightly when he saw that boat tossed by the waves.
 
Have you ever noticed that hope can be eclipsed by the storm? We know there is land on the other side. We know He’s promised to see us through- but the storm is so big, that we lose sight of the hope coming across the water. 
 

God Seeks Out Legion In The Bible

 
Sometimes the storm doesn’t mean that we are running from God like Jonah, sometimes it means we are headed straight for Him. Sometimes the storm is to keep us from seeing Him on His way across the water for us. Sometimes it’s to take our eyes off grace ready to stop everything to come out and see about us.

 

He doesn’t call Legion in the Bible to come to Him, Jesus goes and looks for him. How amazing is that? This one man, living among the tombs was so important to Him, Jesus went and found Legion. He goes out of His way to seek him out. 
 
 

God Had A Plan For Legion In The Bible

 
Sometimes the devil uses the storm to keep us locked away, to keep us tied up, to keep us from His calling. You were on the devil’s hit list before you were born. He doesn’t want that boat to ever reach you. The devil knows where to hit, where to attack to make you push away His presence. There were things strategically placed in your family to keep you from Him. To keep you from that boat, to keep you from the one who will set you free. To keep you from your calling.
 
Legion in the Bible had a call on his life, and the devil did everything in his power to destroy him- and yet God swoops in and meets Legion in this desolate place to set him free and give him a purpose. How many lives do you think this man touched in his village? How many people were impacted? The change would have been remarkable in the man’s life and vividly obvious. 
 

What Can We Learn From Legion In The Bible

You see there is a more important question than “If you will survive the storm”- He’s already promised you the dry land on the other side. You can’t be lost in the storm because He’s promised to see you through. A more important question is “Why did you survive”. What was so important that the devil sent a storm to keep you from reaching it?
 
 
You don’t guard what isn’t important. You don’t buy a safe and then keep trash in it. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. That storm makes you important. The devil doesn’t start a storm for someone he isn’t threatened by. He wouldn’t send a storm if he wasn’t afraid of what would happen if you got loose, and stepped into your calling- your storm proves that.

 

Legion in the Bible crying out day and night, lost, broken, hurting didn’t know that Jesus was on His way. All he saw was the storm raging. All he saw were the waves crashing, and the wind howling. All he heard was the storm. He didn’t know a battle was being waged upon that water for him. He thought he was alone, forgotten, abandoned. The bible says he lived among the tombs, out of control to the point that chains couldn’t hold him, and that he cut himself with rocks day and night.
 
 
 
 

God Sought Out Legion In The Bible

 

I’m not sure you can get any more hopeless than Legion in the Bible, here, living among the tombs in the pages of the new testament. It’s easy to gloss over him, it’s so much easier to relate to the woman with the issue of bleeding just needing Him, needing His presence- but scared, unworthy to steal his attention from the more “important” things. And yet… and yet… and yet we each have a small piece of this man in us.

 

Human chains couldn’t hold him, doctors couldn’t save him, his family, his friends, his neighbors had given up on him. He was beyond human help. It’s easy to miss ourselves in him, to shake our heads and walk away. But how many of us are dwelling in dead places?  Have places in our lives where we are out of control- maybe it is in our words, maybe it’s our attitudes, maybe it’s our actions, maybe it’s our finances, maybe it’s our relationships-, how many of us are hurting ourselves, maybe not physically but emotionally? Maybe in the words, we speak to ourselves in the mirror, or the lies we believe about ourselves. 
 
We may not be possessed,  like this man only identified as Legion, because of the many spirits holding on to him, but oppressed. We all have a little bit of Legion in us, and a storm trying to keep us shackled to it. Bound to the pain and the lies, and the chaos. Trapped in the dead places. But my friend, there is a storm on the lake!

 

 

If we back up to Mark 4:39 we find something very interesting about this lake crossing,
 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. NIV

Jesus rebuked the storm. He doesn’t rebuke nature for acting as it should, for working as it was created to- and yet this time He does. You are important because of your storm. If He went through a storm to save this man, to restore him, to seek him out like a lost lamb and He went to Calvary for you, how important must you be to Him? Grace did what chains could never do. Mercy did what judgment could never do. Love set Legion in the Bible free. Love set you free. How valuable you are to Him!

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