“What is your name?
My name is legion . . . For we are many”
Whether or not we believe in the reality of demons, a truthful response to the question for many of us would be, “My name is Legion . . . for we are many.” Many voices, many activities, many interests, many influences.
I find it interesting that it wasn’t the sight of a tormented man injuring himself with stones that frightened the Gerasene people. Just as in our day, they had become accustomed to all the noise and violence. It wasn’t even the spectacle of two thousand hogs running headlong into the Sea of Galilee. No, it wasn’t all the uproar that caught everyone’s attention; it was seeing the former demoniac sitting next to Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, that struck fear in their hearts (Mark 5:15).
In a world where self-destructive behavior has become commonplace, the most frightening scenario may not be a global apocalypse. Perhaps the most startling thing to see is someone whom we have come to expect to be as fragmented, fractured, and self-destructive as we are, transformed into the epitome of sanity, peace, and purpose.
We’re afraid, not because we would rather see the demonized man continue to harm himself—we’re terrified because his transformation raises for us new possibilities for what it means to be human.
. . .
In a world beleaguered by famine, violence, war, and death, it is far more shocking to see other people who were once as haunted as we are no longer playing by the old rules.
– Jonathan Martin.