Why did the Gaddereans ask Jesus to leave? (Mark 5:15‭-‬17)


(Dean Schmucker) #1

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.
Mark 5:15‭-‬17 KJV

After such a miraculous deliverence of their fellow countryman, the Gaddereans asked Jesus to leave. Why?


(SeanO) #2

@manbooks Two possible explanations are:

  • they were upset at the loss of their pigs, which were a source of income
  • they were afraid of the power Jesus apparently wielded over unclean spirits

The region’s citizens should be grateful for this miracle, but the people only see a loss of income from the death of their animals. Seeking material prosperity at the expense of true life, these men implore Jesus to leave (vv. 33–34). Regrettably, Matthew Henry comments, too many “prefer their pigs above their Savior, and so come short of Christ, and salvation through him.”

Now, the people beg Jesus to leave. They had driven the possessed man out of the town, forcing him to live among tombs, but they are more comfortable with the evil they know than the power they can’t control. This will soon change. In Mark 7:31–37, Jesus returns to the Decapolis area, after having told the demoniac to spread the news of God’s gracious healing (Mark 5:19). This time, the people will beg Jesus for His healing touch.


(Dean Schmucker) #3

I lean towards the fear explanation
Not clear if they were gentiles
Must be, as they were keeping pigs
But if so, why did Jesus go there?


(SeanO) #4

@manbooks To be about His Father’s business :wink: