"Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him" (Mark 5:4).
Southeast of the Sea of Galilee lies the land of the Gadarenes. The city of Gadara is now in ruins, but the most striking present relict of the city is its tombs which lie in cliffs about the city limits. It was from among these tombs that the man with an unclean spirit came down to meet Jesus as He came ashore from a ship.
The most remarkable ability of this possessed man was his perseverance. No man could bind him, even with chains. His restlessness came from a great number of unclean spirits that dwelled in him. We are not told how this host came upon the demoniac; however, we are told about Jesus' work in removing these demons and the subsequent testimonial to this marvelous work.
At first it might appear that he broke the chains by muscular strength. Yet, upon closer examination of the text, it might appear that he simply kept hammering away at the chains until they broke into pieces. The presence of the unclean spirits drove him day and night until he saw Jesus and came to worship Him.
Jesus commanded the spirits to come out of the man. Then He asked him his name, to which the spirit replied, "Legion" (v. 9). Upon appeal, the spirits entered some swine which raced off to drown in the sea. The Gadarene is next spoken of as sitting (resting), clothed and in his right mind.
It is appropriate to note Jesus' appeal to us: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29). KBC