Jesus and His disciples were traveling along the shore of the sea of Galilee. As they approached the city of Gerasa, they passed by the tombs on a quiet, empty road. The only living things in the area were a herd of pigs, grazing in the distance. The disciples were peacefully talking to one another, enjoying the beautiful view of the sea. Suddenly, two ferocious men emerged yelling and howling from the caves.
The disciples cried out in fear and surprise, quickly pulling together and taking hurried steps backward. The men were wild, ripped clothing hanging off their dirty bodies. The two were possessed with devils and attacked any who passed by them.
The men spotted Jesus and suddenly stopped their terrifying ambush. There was silence for a moment as they stared in awe and dread. Jesus was still, neither shrinking back from the terrible sight nor addressing them.
“What do you want with us, Jesus, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before our time?” one of the devils abruptly cried out.
“If you cast us out of these bodies, at least let us go into those pigs!” pleaded the other. The demons were so desperate to inhabit bodies, they didn’t care if they couldn’t have human bodies. Jesus looked at the men and the demons in pity.
“Go,” was all He said. Immediately the devils came out of the men and threw themselves into the herd of pigs in the distance. The entire herd ran in a mad panic down a steep hill and drowned themselves in the sea of Galilee. The disciples witnessed the sickening sight with wide eyes. It was over almost as soon as it had begun.
All that remained were two dirty, tired men in rags. The pig herders were the only other witnesses. They ran into the city and told the people in a panic about the fate of their herd and livelihood. Fear quickly rose in the citizens, Gentiles who knew nothing of the prophesied Messiah.
A mob formed and met Jesus as He approached their gates, and begged Him to leave their coasts. They were terrified of Him, having no idea where His power came from, only that it had proved destructive. Jesus respected their wishes and left with His disciples.