Mark 5:15

15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed[a] man, the one who had had 1the legion, sitting there, 2clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.

Mark 5:15 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 5:15

And they come to Jesus
Who had wrought this miracle, and of which, and whom, the keepers of the swine had given them some account:

and see him that was possessed of the devil, and had a legion.
The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions leave out the last clause, "and had a legion", and so Beza's ancient copy; the Persic version renders it, "the legion being gone out of him": they saw, along with Jesus, the man who had been possessed with a legion of devils, whom they knew very well to be the same man;

sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid;
not of the man, as they were before, when he was possessed, not daring to come that way because of him; but of Christ, and his amazing power; who was able to dispossess a legion of devils, and restore a man to his perfect senses, to such composure and decency, who was before in such a dreadful condition, and so exceeding furious and outrageous: they saw the man was still and quiet, harmless and inoffensive; they had nothing to fear from him; but they knew not what to make of Christ: they might take him for an exorcist, or a magician, and fear that he would exercise his art to the ruin and destruction of them: they did not fear and reverence him as a divine person, but they dreaded him, as one possessed of a power of doing hurt: they were conscious to themselves of their sins, and that they deserved the just judgments of God upon them; and they were afraid that Christ was sent to execute them upon them: and it is observable, that they say not one word to him, by way of complaint, for the loss of their swine; but thought themselves well off, could they but get rid of him. There was a strange change and alteration in the man; he, who before was running about among the tombs, and upon the mountains, and scarce ever sat still, but was always in motion, as persons distracted commonly are, was now sitting at the feet of Jesus, his kind benefactor, ( Luke 8:35 ) , and he who before was naked, and whenever any clothes were put upon him, tore them off again, and to pieces, as madmen usually do, was now "clothed"; perhaps with some the swine herds had left behind them, in their fright, or the disciples had with them: and he who before was quite out of his senses, knew not what he said, or did, was now "in his right mind"; of a sound mind, of a good understanding, sober, modest, and knowing. This man, as whilst under the possession of Satan, was an emblem of a man in a natural estate; so, being now dispossessed, he very aptly represented a converted man; who, being brought out of a state of nature, out of an horrible pit, a pit wherein is no water, is "sitting" at the feet of Jesus; where he places himself, imploring his grace and mercy, entreating him to receive and save him, resolving, if he perishes, he will perish there; and where he is, as a scholar, at the feet of his master, hearing his words, and receiving instruction from him; and which also is expressive of his submission to his Gospel and ordinances, and of pleasure and continuance under them; as well as of that calmness and serenity of mind, which attends a sense of justification, pardon, reconciliation, and adoption, and hope of glory: and whereas, before he was naked, and without a righteousness, or, which was no better than filthy rags; he is now "clothed" with the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, with fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints, with change of raiment, and clothing of wrought gold; the righteousness of Christ being not only imputed to him by the Father, but revealed in the Gospel, brought near by the Spirit, and put upon him, and received by faith; as well as having put on the new man, and being clothed with humility, and other graces of the Spirit, and with the garments of a holy conversation; and so will at last be clothed with the shining robes of immortality and glory. Such an one, who before was not himself, is now "in his right mind"; is come to himself like the prodigal; is become sensible of the evil of sin, and is brought to true repentance for it; and of his lost state and condition, of his need of Christ, and salvation by him; has his spiritual senses exercised upon Christ; beholds the loveliness and suitableness of him as a Saviour, hears his voice, handles him, the word of life, tastes the sweetness there is in him, and in his Gospel, and savours the things of his Spirit; and whose senses also are exercised to discern between good and evil, and truth and error; who likewise has a new heart, and a right Spirit created in him; and has the same mind in him, as was in Jesus Christ, for humility and lowliness; and whose mind is stayed upon him, and trusts in him.

Mark 5:15 In-Context

13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.
14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.
15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.
16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs.
17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.

Cross References 2

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Greek daimonizomai; also verses 16, 18; elsewhere rendered oppressed by demons
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.