It’s really simple. If you don’t know the answer to something, asking is one of the key ways to learn it.
Mark 5:9 – And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
There are many things we don’t know. If you don’t know how to get to where you want to go, ask. It’s far better than being lost. If you don’t know how to assemble the gas grill you’ve ordered, ask. It’s far better than blowing yourself up. If you don’t know how to file your taxes properly, ask. It’s far better than going to jail and paying the fines and penalties.
There were times when Jesus entered into a situation about which He did not have all the answers. He did not know the fig tree had no figs until He approached it. He had to discover the facts. On several occasions He asked people what they wanted Him to do for them. Whether He knew already or not, we know not, but He wanted to hear it from their own lips. In the case of our Text for Today, He knew He was dealing with an unclean spirit, but He did not know the demon’s name. So, He asked. And His response to the situation was impacted by the answer He received.
Once again, note that Jesus knew what kind of demon possesses the man of Gadara. It was an unclean spirit. But Jesus went further in His ministry. He asked for the demon’s name. Notice closely that Jesus spoke to the demon while the man was still “afar off.” He said, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” And when the man fell at Jesus’ feet, and the demons worshipped Him, Jesus asked what his name was. Jesus did not want to move into the situation He was facing without being fully armed with accurate knowledge. When He asked, the demon responded. Note closely the response. He said, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” While the name “Legion” leaves room for discussion, I believe it to be a number of troops in the Roman army of about 5,000 soldiers, including calvary. The demoniac of Gadara around 5,000 demons in him, but only one was in charge. He name was Legion. When Jesus had all the information He needed, He cast out the possession demon, along with all those that were under his command in the man. Too often in the church, people move into situations where demonic forces are at work without understanding what is happening and now to apply their authority. When they do, failure is the usual result. Sometimes we need to ask questions, to be properly informed before we act. Unless the Lord has shown you clearly what to do, be sure you do all you can to be properly informed so you can operate in faith and not presumption.
Manna for Today – Mark 5:1-20; James 1:2-9; Mark 10:36; Mark 10:51