The Book of Luke, The Deliverance of the Demoniac Ė Lesson 105
Luke 8:26-39, And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. 38Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
Before we leave the subject of faith which we discussed last week with reference to the Lordís stilling of the storm a few more words about faith are necessary.
I think that the response of Jesus Christ to the fear of the disciples shows us in no uncertain terms that faith is to be the norm in Godís economy and lack of faith is the abnormal.
The Lord Jesus Christ shows us in this example that believing God is normal and unbelief in God is abnormal.
The words normal and abnormal were used much more in the past than they are today but psychology has pretty much banished these words as indefinable.
But the word normal means conforming to the standard.
Today there is an absence of standards to conform to and instead each man can do that which is right in his own eyes and that is considered normal.
So if there are no standards then normal means nothing.
But God continues to have a standard.
And Godís standard for all of his creation is believing his word.
God never has an allowance for not believing His word.
So if you do not believe Godís word, and that means doing Godís word, you are not normal, but you are abnormal in Godís economy.
Jesus Christ, in his rebuke after the storm, made no allowance for the unbelief of his disciples.
He did not cater to their fear, he was not compassionate nor encouraging concerning their unbelief.
He was clear as to what the normal response was to be to the storm.
He expected faith, he expected belief in his word on the part of his disciples and anything other than faith was abnormal and unacceptable.
The reaction of Christ to his disciples for their lack of faith is almost one of shock that anyone would not believe his word.
God is one way concerning belief in his word! He is totally intolerant concerning this!
It used to be that those among us who were mentally abnormal in the human sense were put away in asylums for the insane.
And that is exactly what awaits the man or woman who is abnormal in the spiritual sense.
God has an eternal asylum for those who refuse to believe him.
He does not ever put up with unbelief from an eternal standpoint.
There is no forgiveness for unbelief.
The blood of Christ does not even reach to unbelief.
Yes, God is long suffering but long suffering does not mean eternal suffering.
God will suffer for a time but that time will end some day and those who are abnormal, those who do conform to his standard will be banished for all eternity to a place called Hell which was made for the devil and his angels.
So I believe that this event on the Sea of Galilee teaches us that faith is the normal and unbelief is the abnormal.
In this sense those who do not believe God are mentally unsound.
This is the definition for the word ďinsaneĒ and until a man or woman is born into the family of God though Jesus Christ they have no ability to think straight in accordance with Godís word.
Paul tells us in II Cor. 4:3, But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
A man without faith, a man who does not believe Godís word has a blinded mind, a mind insane to the things of God.
And therefore they are abnormal and in need of that which only God can provide, a new birth which brings to them the ability to believe Godís word.
I think these thoughts are a good introduction to this account that we have just read in Luke 8 concerning the demoniac called Legion.
For we see in this account a people who do not want Godís word to work in their midst and call upon Godís word, Jesus Christ in human flesh, to depart from them.
By giving us this passage it is clear that God wants us to know about the demonic forces which oppose our Lord and His church.
This passage tells us of supernatural forces at work opposing Godís people.
But thank the Lord it also shows us that the Lord Jesus Christ has power over the demonic forces, even over an entire ďlegionĒ of demons.
The demonic force in this man is the finished product of Satan.
This is where the insanity of unbelief leads.
We see in Legion a man who is fully spirit filled; filled with spirits who are totally dominated by Satan.
We see in this passage what Satan produces and his deception and destruction is revealed to us in its purest and ugliest form.
There is also revealed to us in the deliverance of the demoniac an unholy and unhealthy fear of God.
The fear of ďLegion,Ē which is the fear of the demons who possess him, and the fear of the people of his home town, is an unholy fear.
For this unholy fear is one which causes men to draw away from God as opposed to drawing near, or, as in our passage, to ask the Son of God to withdraw from their region.
There is a holy fear of God which results in drawing near to God and there is an unholy fear which results in a fleeing away from God.
The unbelieving and the unholy have a fear of God.
But it is a fear that God will interfere with their evil, that God will interfere with their ability to continue the practice of sin upon which their whole life is built.
Think upon your own salvation and how hard it was to let go of sin and instead to now love the same God which before times was shunned and despised and even hated.
That was an unholy fear of God which hindered the service of God and obedience to his word.
This event of scripture begins with the arrival of Jesus Christ and his disciples to the land of the Gadarenes.
The disciples had just experienced one of the most harrowing days of their lives and I suppose the lesson on faith was still upon their minds.
But lessons are never over in the Lordís work and this day like other days was filled with his teaching and his miracle workings.
For as Jesus steps out of the boat to the shore the demoniac appears.
The boat landed in sight of a road, which would lead into the adjacent town.
There was a cemetery nearby for we are told that this demoniac lived in the tombs.
This same account in Matthew 8 tells us that there were two demoniacs and that they were exceeding fierce and they so controlled the road that no man passed by.