26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.
27 When 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.
28 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!"
29 For Jesus had commanded the evil 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.
30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him.
31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission.
33 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.
34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside,
35 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.
36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.
37 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.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 "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.
The Demons Fear Him (8:26~31)
The life of this demon-possessed man paints an ugly picture of what sin can do to a human being. Sin imprisons, injures, and isolates us; drives us into dangerous places; and convinces us that we have no hope of redemption. Though a legion of demons exercises control over this man’s body, mind, and spirit, there is something within him that takes him to the feet of Jesus. Jesus commands the impure spirit to leave its victim, and it responds with fear because it knows exactly who it is dealing with: the Son of the Most High God. As terrible and powerful as these demons may be, they tremble in the presence of Jesus and beg for His mercy.
- Do you sometimes feel chained down by past or present demons, doubting Christ’s power to free you? Fall at His feet today and confess that His love is greater than all other powers.
The People Fear Him (8:32~39)
When something shocking happens in our lives that we cannot make sense of, the natural human reaction is fear and flight. We run as fast as we can, without even examining whether what happened might actually turn out for our good. This is the response of the people in the town and countryside when they hear what has happened to the demon-possessed man: they force Jesus out of their region. They are so afraid that they do not stop to consider the healing and deliverance that He could bring to their community. The only person who responds with faith is the healed man, who exercises his newfound freedom by becoming a herald of the Good News.
- Have you ever run away from something that seemed scary and shocking but might have been good for you in the long run? Do you ever run away from Christ, fearing that He might bring you more harm than good?
A letter to God
Lord Jesus, You are greater than all the powers that terrorize this world and Your people. Please help me not to be overcome by fear, but grant me a faith that is fitting of someone who has been transformed by Your love. In Your name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.