“Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.31 And they begged Jesus 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 the pigs, 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.” Luke 8.30-39
Jesus is a rockstar. I mean it, he is amazing. More than amazing! His treatment of the demons, sending them into the pigs is epic. They beg for mercy and he shows no mercy to evil — sent them into unclean animals who are then drowned in the sea. What a move.
And then, here sits this guy who was previously filled with demons in his right mind. The “legion” of demons have left this man, he is tormented no more. But the town folks don’t like this because they lost a bill of goods with those pigs. They cared more for their income then for the restoration of this soul to the man.
And lastly, Jesus is honoring the request of the people who are sending him out of the town but before he goes the man who was possessed begs Jesus to allow him to go with him. In response, Jesus says, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told the whole town how much Jesus had done for him.” And we know that Jesus is right, the man needed to be there to be a witness to the miracle of Jesus and the grace of God upon his life.
So much is going on in this story. Demon possession, exorcism, economic losses, public disapproval, bearing witness for the Gospel. And in it all, God is at work. In every detail, God’s grace is moving, showing and shining. God’s grace is on full display not only when the man is set free but when Jesus proves his authority over the darkness.
No matter where darkness exists, God is greater. Jesus enters our own situation, our own pits of hell, our own restless nights, our own insecurities and he stands tall and strong and says to the evil — ”Flee!”
I’ve had moments of darkness in my own experience, moments of addiction, moments of failure, moments of struggle. And in everyone of those, the light of Christ began to shine the moment I confessed, cried out and consecrated my life to his cause.
God is so good. We are not without hope. Even in this world of post Covid and post Christian-culture, God is near and God is hear.
Will you cry out to him? Do you have sin that needs to be erased? Do you have struggles that only the Savior can heal? Know that you have a Lord who is willing to intervene. Not unlike the demoniac, Jesus will enter your situation and make you whole for your healing and his glory.
“Jesus, today is a beautiful Spring day. We’ve survived Covid, winter storms, political fall outs, violence in our streets, systemic racism. We live in a fallen world but you are the great Redeemer. You heal what is broken and you find what is lost. Come now, Lord Jesus, remind me of your newness every morning. As I look out upon the wildflowers, help me open my heart to you. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen