Jesus frees a demon-possessed man
26 Jesus and his disciples sailed to the Gerasenes’ land, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a certain man met him. The man was from the city and was possessed by demons. For a long time, he had lived among the tombs, naked and homeless. 28 When he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down before him. Then he shouted, “ What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me! ” 29 He said this because Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had taken possession of him, so he would be bound with leg irons and chains and placed under guard. But he would break his restraints, and the demon would force him into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, “ What is your name? ”
“ Legion, ” he replied, because many demons had entered him. 31 They pleaded with him not to order them to go back into the abyss.t32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, 33 and the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who tended the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and told the story in the city and in the countryside. 35 People came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully dressed and completely sane. They were filled with awe. 36 Those people who had actually seen what had happened told them how the demon-possessed man had been delivered. 37 Then everyone gathered from the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave their area because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and returned across the lake. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged to come along with Jesus as one of his disciples. Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “ Return home and tell the story of what God has done for you. ” So he went throughout the city proclaiming what Jesus had done for him.
The secrets of Santeria, Voodoo and Obeah are among the oldest enigmas in the world. Their roots go back to pre-historic Africa - perhaps even beyond that. From the 16th century onwards, the slave trade brought these ancient mysteries to the West, where they blended strangely with traditional Christianity: the ancient African gods became identified with legendary saints. This integration of the two faiths slowly evolved to form the many varieties of Santeria, Obeah and Voudoun that are widely practiced throughout the world today. Their characteristic dancing and drumming seem able to invoke strange states of mind in which almost anything is possible. Even stories of zombies - the walking dead - still persist. Is there a rational explanation for them? Contemporary Voudoun priests, priestesses, magicians and enchanters use rare herbs and spices as well as charms, dolls and talismans to control the natural world in ways that science cannot always explain. Accounts of their inexplicable successes are examined in depth. Most intriguing of all are the claims that are made for their love philtres and aphrodisiacs. What powers do these old religions still possess?