Luke 8 v 38. “…..When they came to Jesus, they found this man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind.”
Once again Luke recounts an event that places Jesus in confrontation with evil spirits. These stories may seem bizarre to us now, but they were very real to the people with whom Jesus dealt. In fact, in many places of the world today, demon possession is part and parcel of various cultural practices. To the modern mind this raises all kinds of questions. Many would want to write off these phenomena as something that can be understood by modern psychology or social science. But the reality is that we are faced with supernatural powers from another realm. This is why we need a supernatural Saviour.
The man in the story is possessed by many demons that have taken over his body and mind and turned him into a terror in his neighbourhood. Demon possession is an extreme example of the devil’s ability to overpower a human personality and to rob that person of self-control and self-respect.
People are fascinated by the supernatural in our day and age, as we can see from the flood of films and books on the subject. But we need to be aware that these spirit beings ultimately bring destruction to the human personality.
Of course, it is possible to be under the devil’s power without being actually demon possessed. All forms of human destruction, human hatred and human conflict were the works of the devil, whether in the underworld, or on the domestic front. Satan always destroys. God always builds up.
Notice the abject fear the demons demonstrate at the appearance of Jesus (vs 28-31). The demons know that a time has been set by God when all God’s enemies will be finally destroyed. They think Jesus has come before the appointed time to do this task. It’s a good thing to remember that the forces of evil, not only hate Jesus, but are terrified by Him. How great and wonderful our Saviour is.
Jesus knew that if the demons entered the pigs they would rush into the water and be drowned, but he allowed it to happen as a great lesson to all of us about the end result of a life lived in darkness and destruction. The story of the pigs is a strange story to hear but it underscores the need for a Saviour, for where evil rules, death and destruction follow.
So it will always be. Christians are not people of the darkness, rather of the light. But were it not for God’s Grace to us in Christ, we would indeed have been left in darkness.
The flight of the demons is a great reminder of the power and the authority of the Saviour. And this Saviour is our Saviour.
But we are not yet finished with this poor tormented man. The story takes a turn.