Why did Jesus ask the name of the demon in Mark 5:9?


Mark 5:9

ESV - 9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 03 2018 Mini Adewale Ademola

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that Jesus did not ask this question out of ignorance, but for the sake of His followers who were accompanying Him (and who would similarly contend with demonic forces following His departure from the earth (Mark 16:17)) from the standpoint of making clear to them the strength of the spiritual enemies with which they would be dealing, and providing a witness to them of the even greater power that He possessed (and that they would possess in His name) in casting out or defeating those enemies.

December 04 2018 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Good question, Adewale Ademola!

To the evildoer, anonymity is always preferable to identification. --Robert L. (Bob) Deffinbaugh, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, my alma mater.

They were ashamed of their activities, most probably. I know that I feel shame after doing something evil. They probably did, too.

But Jesus asked their identity to expose their evil. To expose to others the evil source of this man's misbehavior.

August 21 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Justin Hale
Jesus was opening a very interesting line of discussion and learning for us by pausing in the middle of this 'high drama' to address the entity directly and speak with it.

What is a 'demon' or an 'angel,' exactly?

Interestingly, they are 'projections' of thought, influence and authority being sent out by someone or something. That 'someone' doesn't even need to be 'divine' in nature. It can be a 'human.'

In Acts 12:5-16, we read a narrative of Peter being divinely released from prison by an angel of the Lord. In Acts 12:15, we hear the other disciples reason that the visage the young attendant girl saw outside of the house must have been 'Peter's angel.' 

They obviously assumed that Peter had been killed but that one of his personal 'projections' was still operating and even looked like him. The word used there is not 'spirit' or 'soul.' It is actually the Greek word 'angelos,' always translated 'angel.'

While Peter was actually still alive and it was really him outside the house, the Holy Spirit used this passage to reveal to us that we each have these 'self projections' that influence others. 

The apostle Paul confirms this in the Holy Spirit when he writes this:

"For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the stability of your faith in Christ." (Colossians 2:5).

And also this:

"For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present in the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus." (1 Corinthians 5:3-4). 

So we have our own 'messengers' that project out from our psyche and affect things, witness things, and influence things. These can be 'good' or 'evil.' These are 'human angels' or 'human demons.' 

The Lord has His own version, i.e. 'angels of the Lord' who are His personal 'projections.' The devil has his as well. 

So what was 'Legion?'

This bizarre phenomenon very likely started out as a 'human demonic projection' created by many people contributing to the oppression of a single man whose infamy grew and grew as people from around the region each contributed to the 'ongoing story' about this man and his various evil traits. 

We still have people like this typically known as 'derelicts' who rant and rave and frighten people, living outdoors in back alleys or wandering around cities night and day. Yet, this was truly exceptional and rare. He was so fearsome that people went out of their way for miles to avoid passing through the region where he was.

The 'human demon' projection clearly attracted the attention of 'Satanic demons' which arrived in large numbers to 'contribute' to the chaos and the evil renown of this man. 

How do we know?

When they spoke to Jesus, they identified Him as Messiah using His divine title 'Son of GOD,' (something Jesus was still hiding from all but His disciples), and then, in the same account but in Luke 8:31, they begged Him not to send them 'out into the abyss' (also known as 'Tartarus and Gehenna'), which is the eternal hell reserved for 'the devil and his angels,' (Matthew 25:41, Jude 1:6), assuming that Jesus would send them there 'earlier than expected' for joining in the open violation of this oppressed man.

The fact that they ended up being cast into the swine further demonstrates their origin as 'other than human,' since demons return to their 'home' after being cast out, (Matthew 12:43-45). 

You should note from all of the 'pagan' religions that worship demons, they each have 'favorite animals' after which their religion is modeled. These demons 'favored' pigs and used them as a base for their 'projections.' 

So this has all been a 'master class' in understanding both angels and demons. Evil obviously didn't think about that when they piled on the poor man that everyone was having fun 'shaping' in evil ways, until Jesus finally stopped it.

March 07 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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