The Healing of the Demon-Possessed Man – by Ritchie Way

Aug 29, 2015 3755

chains_broken11When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion, he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus ‘feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon- possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you. So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him (Luke 8:26-39).

Every age has had its mad men. The man Luke writes about was insane, naked and powerfully strong. Apparently he was so violent that he was chained, hand and foot, and kept under 24-hour guard. But he broke his chains and went to live in the town’s cemetery on the edge of the lake. His family brought him his food every day. When Jesus stepped ashore with his disciples that evening, right into this man’s territory, he came charging down to the beach, wildly gesticulating and bellowing at the top of his voice. The disciples raced back to their boat and were in the process of pushing off into deep water when Jesus held up his hand and ordered the demons to come out of him. The man fell at Jesus’ feet and cried out, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!”

People are inclined to interpret God’s nature according to how their authority figures treat them. This man begged Jesus not to torture him, for torture was often used to drive demons out of people. But God is not like that. He comes, not to increase our suffering but to eliminate it. The healing of the demon-possessed man was connected to the destruction of a large herd of pigs feeding nearby. Satan was at work to turn the people away from Jesus. These Gentiles considered that the loss of their pigs was more important than the presence of someone who had the power to cure insanity, so they pled with Jesus to leave them. Jesus, however, was not about to leave them without hope. He commissioned the healed man to return home and tell the people how much the Lord had done for him. So the man went away and told everyone he met in the town how much Jesus had done for him. While he would have preferred to have crossed the lake with Jesus, there would be plenty of time in eternity to be with the Lord.

– Ritchie Way

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