The Book of Luke, The Deliverance of the Demoniac, Part IV – Lesson 108
Luke 8:26-33, 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.
The Bible is not full of information about the hopes and fears of the demon subordinates of Satan but in this passage some information is revealed to us in that regard.
It is obvious from this account that the demons feared the restriction of their freedom to continue their destructive work on behalf of their father the devil.
Last week we compared the parallel accounts of this event from the Gospels of Luke and Mark and read Luke 8:31 from the Amplified Bible.
Luke 8:31 in the King James reads, And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Mark 5:10 reads, And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
The Amplified Bible describes the deep and the country in Luke 8:31 this way:
And they begged Jesus not to command them to depart into the Abyss (bottomless pit).
The word “country” in Mark 5:10, is from the Greek word, choôra
kho'-rah which expresses the idea of empty expanse.
The word chasm derives from this word.
That word deep in Luke 8:31 is from the Greek word abussos , ab'-us-sos meaning abyss which means bottomless pit.
It is the same Greek word that is translated bottomless pit in the book of Revelation where we are told the devil will be locked up for 1000 years.
It is clear that the demons did not want to go into the abyss for going there would keep them from doing evil just as going there will keep the devil from deceiving the nations.
It appears to be a place of lockup, a place where restrictions are placed upon Satan and his followers.
So torment, for an unclean spirit, occurs when they are kept from doing evil on this earth and therefore they do not wish to be put into a kind of captivity which would greatly confine and restrict their activities.
We see no repentance here, for demons do not repent.
Demons only regret when they are restricted from doing what they have always done, which is to rebel against God, to work against His purposes, and to torment men.
The demons, the unclean spirits, were evil.
They delighted in doing evil for their whole existence was doing evil and being hindered from torturing men, was torture to them.
Since they love to do evil and since Jesus is both good and God, they absolutely knew that His coming would have to result in hindering them from continuing to do evil.
To an evil creature, bent only on doing evil, doing good is a thing that is most feared.
The demons, the tormentors of this man, pled not to be tormented, which, according to our text involves two things.
First, they did not wish to be disembodied, or taken from a body. They feared the loss of their home!
Second, they did not wish to be hindered from doing their evil deeds by being banished to the Abyss, to the bottomless pit.
It seems from this account that a demon cannot fully show its character and nature apart from the possession of a body.
For one thing the demons could not speak apart from possessing a person with a tongue.
To a demon it was inferior to possess a pig than it was a person, but at least it was a body and not banishment to the Abyss.
So the demons begged Jesus to allow them to possess the nearby herd of hogs if they were to be taken from the body of this man.
Jesus knew what the entrance into the bodies of the pigs would result in and He therefore granted the demons’ request to enter the herd of swine.
The demons thought they were safe but the pigs could not stand their presence and ran straightway into the sea, destroying themselves.
The Lord Jesus Christ knew that the pigs as the home of the demons would be short lived.
So they ended up in the deep, out of the country, in the abyss after all as they were again disembodied from the swine.
In the Abyss did they now have to await their turn to inhabit another body? We do not know their fate!
Now the herdsmen of the swine, after witnessing this shocking event, went off to tell all that would listen about what had happened.
So we are told that the entire town came out to see the scene and the fate of the swine, but most of all they came to see the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had come to their region.
It is very important for us to observe the response of the crowd, and the reasons for their response.
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.
Luke 8:37-39, Then 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.
We may be not clear as to why the people of this region rejected Jesus and asked Him to leave their country.
We may think that it is all based on the economics of the situation for we know that there had been great loss in a herd of swine.
But there is more to this than the loss of the swine for we are told that All of the people of the nearby town came out to meet Jesus, not just those involved with the swine.
This was not a small group, not even a delegation.
We are told that the whole multitude gathered there to see Jesus.
The people were not mainly interested in the swine, but in this man who had changed the one who had been banished to the tombs.
The people are overcome with fear of this man Jesus, for we read that they were afraid.
They had learned by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed and because of this they were taken with great fear.
So out of this great fear, all the people ask Jesus to leave their country.
It is a unanimous verdict from all but the one man, delivered of demons, - Jesus must go from them.
They want Jesus not only to stay away from their town, but to leave their country for they want him nowhere around.
For those of us who know Christ this is an amazing request.
But for those who do not know Christ the request for Jesus to leave is made quite often so it ought not to be puzzling to us to hear that a people want Jesus to leave them.
It happens every day in individual lives for it is the request of sinners.
We are reminded of this during this very season where we see that Jesus Christ is even asked to leave Christmas.
But the fears of the people seem to be founded upon the miraculous change in “Legion,” the delivered demoniac.
No doubt there were some in the crowd who wished him to go because of the loss of the pigs but there seems to be much more here than that.
It is not so much because the pigs died that the people are frightened, but because Legion was delivered.
This was a time for rejoicing but there was no rejoicing because of his deliverance.
It is hard to imagine but from the actions and the words of the people of this region, they would rather have had Legion as he was, dangerous, destructive, and uncontrollable, than to be whole, healed, clothed, and a constructive member of their society.
HOW CAN PEOPLE FEAR THE SON OF GOD FOR DOING GOOD MORE THAN THEY CAN FEAR SATAN AND HIS DEMONIC HOSTS FOR DOING EVIL?
The demoniac feared Jesus before he was delivered from his demon-possession.
And the fears of the people are like the fears of the demoniac.
The Gerasene demoniac and the people of the region share one thing in common and that is a fear of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Both “fears” are of the same kind.
Just as the demons dreaded the arrival of the Lord Jesus because of the change that would occur, so did the people of the nearby town.
They were frightened by the good thing which had happened to the demoniac.
They feared that Jesus might do other “good” as well.
They would rather that Jesus go away from them than to remain among them.
As the demoniac feared the good which Jesus was about to do—namely his deliverance — so the people of that region feared the power of the Lord Jesus to do good for them.
Ultimately, the people feared that Jesus’ coming meant a change, not only for the demoniac, but for them, a change which they did not want, and did not feel that they needed.
They wanted things just as they were, and Jesus threatened the status quo.
The thought of the kind of changes which Jesus would bring was tormenting to the people of this place.
Thus, they wanted Jesus to go because they wanted nothing to change for that is the heart of the sinner.
When Jesus comes into a life there is change! If there is no change then Jesus did not come!
The essence of repentance is change and change was repulsive to the people of the Gadarenes and therefore repentance was unthinkable.
But to a certain degree all lost people are demon-possessed, in the sense that they are Satan’s slaves, and that they show the same character and conduct as Satan and his evil host.
We need to recognize that the response of the people to Jesus was not the exception, but rather the rule and in fact led to the crucifixion of Christ for the people of Israel were not interested in change.
We need to realize that it was not just Legion that was dominated by Satan and his horde of demons, but it is every unbeliever.
All those who are lost are the slaves of Satan through their bondage to sin.
Man is born in sin, and in sin is hostile to God and man in sin opposes God.
The sinner is thus of the same mind toward God as is Satan and his host of demons.
As a unrepentant sinner you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we learn, In 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.
And in 1 John 3:8, He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 5:19, 19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
Revelation 12:9, And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Initially, many of those who first saw and heard the Lord Jesus Christ welcomed Him.
But for most, He was first welcomed because people thought that He would comply with their mistaken conceptions of His kingdom and His reign.
Once He make it clear that His kingdom was not “of this world” many forsook Him and eventually they decided to reject Him.
In this sense the Jewish people, the people from the other side of the lake, were far worse than the inhospitable people of the Gerasene region — they sought to rid the world of Him.
They put Him to death on a Roman cross.
Jonathan Edwards wrote his famous sermon in 1741, Sinners in the hands of an angry God.
This account in Luke 8 demonstrates God in the hands of angry sinners.
Their animosity and fear of Jesus is of the same kind as Legion and as his fellow-countrymen, but only greater in degree.
There is an unholy fear of God, the kind that fears God for what He is and will do, the kind that fears the good which He will do, which will hinder us from persisting in our evil deeds.
It was this fear which caused Legion to run to Christ; it was this fear which caused the people of that place to ask Christ to leave them alone; and it was that same kind of fear which caused our Lord’s own people to cry out, “Crucify! Crucify!”
John 19:15, But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
The nation Israel was willing to renounce all their messianic hopes, all hopes of independence, just to be rid of Jesus.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the demoniac, for he shows us something which we very much need to know, something which we very much want to avoid.
He shows us the miserable condition of the one who is totally “spirit-filled” in following and being controlled by Satan.
Notice that this man is tormented, self-destructive, alienated from others and a menace to society.
No matter what Satan may promise, the demoniac is a shocking demonstration of what he delivers.
It is only when freed by the liberating power of Jesus Christ that a man can be what he wants to be, what he ought to be, fully human, fully forgiven, worshipping at the feet of Jesus.
Let us never forget Legion in his misery, nor the new man in his sanity and devotion to the Savior.
Let us remember as well that there was another demoniac, who was delivered from Satan’s total control, but who was not delivered from his sin, nor from Satan’s more subtle dominion, from which he did not wish to be saved.
May each one of us look to Jesus as our Deliverer and as the object of our devotion.
John 1:12, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: