This story is much beloved by the outright charismatics,
even if does differ fairly widely between the Gospels.
It is presented as a tale of bondage to demons,
which Jesus conquers, commands and expels.
It empowers their magic ministries.
A more realistic view of this tale must see it
as an occasion when gentiles were converted
to the embryo Christian movement.
Jesus had crossed the lake into foreign, gentile, territory.
The number of demons is obviously important to the story,
as is the loss of the pigs over the cliff into the sea.
Perhaps they were those that failed to be converted
and were lost into the wild, untamed, world,
whilst the few were those who changed.
Even though only one man is mentioned, he owns many demons,
perhaps these are followers whom he alone can command.
In converting the gang's leader to his cause,
Jesus gains the allegiance of the band.
They reject all their unsavoury past
cast it over the cliff, as it were!
Surely we can see that this is not a literal account.
We need an explanation of the tale which makes sense,
but we no longer understand the coded messages
that those writers embodied in their tales.
We make many strange interpretations!