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Mark 5:16

ESV And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs.
NIV Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man--and told about the pigs as well.
NASB Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the pigs.
CSB Those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs.
NLT Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs.
KJV And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

What does Mark 5:16 mean?

The herdsmen are not mentioned in the primary account of Jesus freeing the demon-possessed man, but this isn't surprising for Mark. He values action over detail, and the herdsmen aren't necessary until this point. But witnessing the local mountain madman brought to his senses and then their livelihood stampede into the sea within a matter of minutes must have been unsettling. It is natural for them to spread the word throughout the town and countryside—both because the story is so fantastical and because they probably didn't own the pigs (Mark 5:14).

Both the release of the man and the destruction of the pigs are compelling, and the situation serves as a chance for us to consider our own priorities. The situation is more challenging than we may like to admit: the owners of the pigs lost a great deal of capital, in order to heal a man they had come to fear and despise. Did they think it a fair trade? Would we? Would we be willing to risk our livelihood if it meant a celebrity or politician or local personality we loathed came to Christ?

When Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and give to the poor, He was actually pointing out that the man valued his earthly possessions even more than the God he so devoutly obeyed (Mark 10:17–22). When we read the story of the legion of demons, we tend to see it from the viewpoint of the disciples who have a vested interest in what Jesus does—and who don't value pigs. When we find ourselves in the place of the pig herders or the townspeople, we need to remember to value what God calls important and hold loosely to the things of this world.
What is the Gospel?
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