Day 89: Power Over Evil Forces

Luke 8:27-39 :

When Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man out of the city who had demons for a long time met him. He wore no clothes, and didn’t live in a house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torment me!” For Jesus was commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For the unclean spirit had often seized the man. He was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters. Breaking the bands apart, he was driven by the demon into the desert.

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered into him. They begged him that he would not command them to go into the abyss. Now there was there a herd of many pigs feeding on the mountain, and they begged him that he would allow them to enter into those. He allowed them. The demons came out from the man, and entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned. When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.

People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who saw it told them how he who had been possessed by demons was healed. All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them, for they were very much afraid. He entered into the boat, and returned. But the man from whom the demons had gone out begged him that he might go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your house, and declare what great things God has done for you.” He went his way, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

One of the important things we can see from this passage is that Jesus is more powerful than the evil spiritual forces. Notice that when they are in the presence of Jesus they give in to Him and start asking instead of doing whatever they want. This tells me that they know how much greater Jesus is than they are. This is proven here in a big way because there is a whole legion of demons in this man. It says in another place in the Bible that a single angel can kill many humans single-handedly, but in this case, the whole legion was forced to do only what they were told and were terrified by what Jesus might do to them.

This brings up the question, “Are we concerned about what Jesus could do to us if we disobey?” I’m not saying that as believers we should be afraid of losing our salvation by not obeying rules. What I am saying is that those who don’t believe in Jesus have something to fear because the ultimate end of the demons will become the ultimate end those who don’t believe in Jesus too. There is a very legitimate concern that a person should have about this issue. If this issue isn’t clear, then there is no better time than now to get clear on it.

It is shameful to see how the people treated Jesus here. This man had been tormented for a long time by demons and had become a problem for them at the cemetery. This man was freed from his severe trouble and the city could now visit the cemetery, but all the people could do was be afraid and tell Jesus to leave. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus assigned this man as His missionary even though He was mistreated? This demonstrates the grace and patience of our God. He gives when all we deserve is punishment and gives us time to consider it.

I want to mention that if you read these events in Matthew or Mark, you will discover that there were actually two demon possessed men involved. Luke only discusses one of them. My thought is that he did this because he may have talked directly to this man or to a witness who had been involved in the story. This would make sense since Luke told us in the beginning that these were eye-witness accounts. If you have doubts, please recognize that Luke doesn’t say that there was only one man, he just says “there was a certain man…” For some reason that we don’t know, Luke doesn’t mention the other one. Perhaps the eyewitness failed to tell him about the other one! This only adds to the authenticity of the record because it provides evidence that the stories may have come from two different sources. This means that more than one person was aware of the event which adds credibility to the account.