John T. Willis

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac--Luke 8:26-39

After the account of Jesus calming the storm on the Lake of Gennesaret, Luke next relates the account of Jesus healing the Gerasene demoniac. This story in Luke 8:26-39 naturally falls into three paragraphs. The Enlightenment in the 17th century A.D. has greatly influence many people in the Western world that spirits, demons, angels, and the like do not really exist, but belong to an outdated ancient concept. Biblical speakers and writers assume openly that Satan, angels, demons, good and evil spirits, etc., actually exist and work in the world. Billions of people on planet earth accept this reality. One should compare Luke 8:26-39 with Matthew
8:28-9:1 and Mark 5:1-20.

I. Jesus encounters the Gerasene Demoniac. Luke 8:26-31.
a. At some unknown time, Jesus and his disciples [the Twelve and the women travelling with him] arrived at the country of the Gerasenes. Gerasa is located east of the Jordan approximately 33 miles southeast of the Lake of Gennaserat. This was in pagan territory, as further suggested by the story about the pigs. Jesus is concerned for all people, not just his chosen people. 8:26.
b. After Jesus got out of the boat where he had traveled on the lake, Jesus met a Gerasene. This man had demons tormenting him. As a result of this, he did not wear any clothes, and he did not live in a house but among the tombs. These were pagan tombs, which would be a source of ritual uncleanness for a Jew, and probably were not whitewashed--cf. Matthew 23:27. 8:27.
c. When the Gerasene demoniac saw Jesus, he fell down before Jesus and cried out loudly: "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me." He says this because Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Luke tells his audience that many times the unclean spirit had seized the Gerasene demoniac; and he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds. 8:28-29.
d. Jesus then asked the Gerasene demoniac: "What is your name?" The Gerasene demoniac replied: "Legion," because many demons had entered the demoniac. A person has dominion over a spirit through the use of that person's name. The Gerasene demoniac avoids answering and instead describes the number of demons. Legion is the Roman legio, numbering 6,000 soldiers. The demons beg Jesus not to order them to go back into the abyss. The abyss is the abode of the dead--see Psalm 107:26; Romans 10:7; or the final prison of Satan and the demons--Revelation 20:3. 8:30-31.

II. Jesus casts the demons into a herd of swine. Luke 8:32-33.
a. Luke says that on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding. The demons begged Jesus to let them enter these pigs. Jesus gave the demons permission. Mark 5:13 numbers the pigs as 2,000. According to Leviticus 11:7 and Deuteronomy 14:8, Jews were forbidden to eat pigs, becausethey were unclean. Pigs have the hoof cloven and completely divided, but they do not chew the cud. See Luke 15:15. 8:32.
b. The demons came out of the Gerasene demoniac and entered the swine. The herd of swine rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. The Lake of Gennesaret becomes the way to the abyss. Both the pigs and the demons were destroyed. 8:33.

III. The Gerasene demoniac tells others what Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:34-39.
a. When the keepers of the swine saw what Jesus had done, they ran and told the people in the city of Gerasa and the surrounding country the miracle Jesus had performed. The people in the city and surrounding country came to see Jesus, and saw the Gerasene demoniac sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed in his right mind. The people WERE AFRAID. 8:34-35.
b. People who had watched Jesus heal the Gerasene demoniac told the people who had just arrived. Then the people living in the surround country asked Jesus to leave them, because they WERE AFRAID. Jesus got back into the boat. 8:36-37.
c. The Gerasene begged Jesus to let him stay with Jesus, but Jesus sent him away, telling him to go back home and declare how much GOD had done for him. The Gerasene demoniac obeyed Jesus, returned home, and told his city how much Jesus had done for him. It is very significant that Jesus emphasizes that GOD THE FATHER is the ultimate source of this healing power. 8:38-39.
God's miracles are numerous and diverse. Pay careful attention to all that God is doing in YOUR life.

Share YOUR fears and comments and responses and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis