27: “As He stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met Him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.” – Jesus arrived in an area that was predominantly Greek. The man who met the boat had a long history of problems and nothing the Gentiles of the region had done could help. He was an accepted “weirdo” wandering the caves and hills of the area naked and alone.
28-29: “When he saw Jesus, he fell down before Him and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.’ 29For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.” – The demons that had possessed the man immediately recognized Jesus and the authority He held over them.
30-31: “Jesus then asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Legion;’ for many demons had entered him. 31They begged Him not to order them to go back into the abyss.” – Revelation 9:1 refers to a fallen star that was given the key to the shaft of a bottomless pit.33: “Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.” – The demons, having worked for years to destroy the man and the people with whom he came in contact, entered the swine and immediately led them to destruction.
35: “Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.” – Christ’s transforming love was visibly evident in the man.
39: “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” – A witness is born whose testimony will lead others to Christ.
Points to Contemplate:
What are your demons?
In our modern world, demons can be explained and analyzed in scientific terms. Perhaps your demons are a type of neurosis or psychological disorder. Maybe you have a chemical imbalance or a disease that causes anxiety or stress. It could be that you have survived a childhood of physical or emotional abuse which has caused certain traits or tendencies. Maybe you have an addictive disorder where your life is dominated by your addiction. Can you identify your demons? Do you recognize their control over your life?
Is Satan real? It is certain that Jesus and His disciples felt so. Do you see Satan at work in your life and in the lives around you? How does he operate? Is he bold, standing forth in the limelight bringing him self attention or does he slink and slither around in the back alleys of our lives? Is he out to raise up a following of worshippers or does he simply want to undo the good that prevails in the hearts of Christians? Do you see through this story that the most important step in fighting Satan’s influences is to recognize them as his and to bring them out into the light? As we do, will he whimper as he did with Jesus? Will he say: “Leave me alone. Do not torment me.”
What will be your response? Put yourself into the possessed man’s shoes. Let us accept for a moment, that Jesus has taken hold of a demon within you and has driven it from your soul. What next? What will be your response? Will you break down and cry, falling on your knees in wonder and amazement at the glory of Christ now revealed? Will you lift songs of praise as you strive to move closer to His glory? Will you earnestly seek to know more of His teachings? Will you want to stay forever in His presence? Or will you want to tell others about His love and what He has done for you? Promises of the Gospel:
Luke writes this story of the possessed man in order to show us how dramatic a transformed life in Christ can be. We are all possessed by something – greed, hate, anger, lust, addiction, contempt, or pride. How you label these demons makes no difference. If you want to blame Satan; blame away. If you feel they are simply products of the human condition; fine. But they exist and the important aspect to remember is that through a relationship with Christ change will occur and a new future is available. He will force you to recognize the power sin has over you. He will reveal your demons and call them by name. And, finally, He will drive it out of you so that you will become free. Free! You will be free to worship God, free to become the disciple He is calling you to be, and free of the bondage of hopelessness that sin creates. Come to Christ and be changed.