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Kursi: Demon Possessed Man Healed

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Kursi: Demon-Possessed Man Healed


Welcome to Kursi, also known as the land of the Gadarenes. Several major events from the Bible took place here. Here are the highlights.

  • It's here that two demon-possessed men were healed.

  • One of them had a legion of demons in him. Jesus cast these demons out, and they ran down a steep hill into the sea.

  • It's also in this area that Jesus fed 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish (Matt. 15:29-39).



1. Kursi is the place where two demon-possessed men were healed.


2. The demons who lived in these men were cast into a herd of pigs that ran down a steep bank into the sea.


3. It took place on the east side of the Sea of Galilee in the region of the Gerasenes or Gadarenes. This place was also called Kurshi in Hebrew and Kursy in Arabic.


4. It was in the region of the Decapolis.


5. The Decapolis comprised 10 Roman cities that functioned like city-states. It was a region outside of Jewish authority and inhabited by Jews and Gentiles.


6. It was an immoral area that represented all that sinful humanity had to offer. Therefore, it was considered unclean to the Jews.


7. The caves where the demon-possessed men lived can be seen on the hillside above Kursi.


8. Today, this site contains the ruins of the largest Byzantine monastery complex in Israel. It dates from the middle of the 5th century and was built to commemorate what took place here.


Historical Background


1. Jesus and His disciples were coming from the Capernaum area, where Jesus had just performed many miracles and preached about the parables of the kingdom.


2. On the boat ride to this area, Jesus performed an astounding miracle of calming the sea and storm.
Matthew 8:23–27: And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"


3. This event is the most detailed account of an exorcism (casting out demons) in the Bible.


Places of Interest (Please See Maps Above)


1. Capernaum

2. Calming the storm and sea

3. Byzantine Monastery Complex
4. Tombs above Kursi
5. Beach where Jesus and His disciples arrived
6. Steep hill the pigs ran down into the sea
7. Decapolis area


Kursi in the Bible


1. When Jesus and His disciples arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, they were greeted by two demon-possessed men.
Matthew 8:28–29:  And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"


2. The account of this story in Mark focuses on one of the demon-possessed men.
Mark 5:1–2: They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.


3. The life of this demon-possessed man was a nightmarish living hell.
Mark 5:3–5: He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.


4. The legion of demons indwelling this man recognized who Jesus was.
Mark 5:6–9: And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me." 8 For he was saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion [5,000 demons], for we are many."


5. Jesus cast this legion of demons into a herd of pigs who ran into the sea.
Mark 5:10–13: And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, "Send us to the pigs; let us enter them." 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.


6. The demon-possessed man was healed, and news spread rapidly throughout the region.
Mark 5:14–17: 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.


7. Jesus sent the healed man into the Decapolis region to tell them the great things God had done for him.
Mark 5:18–20: As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.


Faith Lesson from Kursi


1. The demon-possessed man was in deep bondage and torment from the host of demons who lived within him. Do we believe demonic possession is a reality?


2. Jesus showed His power over the demonic realm by casting the legion of demons into a herd of 2,000 pigs. Do we believe Christ is Lord over Satan and all demonic rulers and principalities in the universe?


3. Jesus told the demon-possessed man to go and tell others how much the Lord had done for him.


4. History records that as a result of this man’s obedience, a large community of believers was established in this area and had a great influence on the early church for many centuries.


5. One of our best tools in sharing the Gospel is just to tell others what God has done for us. Have we carefully defined our testimony, and are we committed to using it to share Christ with others?



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