Jesus came to the non-Jews to demonstrate his lordship over the helpless condition of spiritual possession, inviting non-believers to be truly free from the similarly all-encompassing condition of brokenness caused by sin.

Luke 8:26-39 (focusing on 26-33)

26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 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.

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, Possessed

Although Jesus is Jewish and came first to his own people with the good news of the opportunity to be freed from their sin, it is very heartening to see that his mission included those who were not his own, which includes you and me. It must have been a distressing sight to see a man so bound by whatever condition he had, that he was unable to wear clothes or live in a house like everyone else. He was an utter outcast; yet so strong that his own people could not contain him in a place of safety, (from themselves) but had to be content with relegating him to the wildness of a tomb-lined sea-shore.

I’m sure most people would have avoided such a spectacle and make a deliberate detour if necessary to avoid any contact with the man. But such was the power and authority of Jesus, that the demon-possessed man did not come to attack Jesus for daring to come into their territory, but rather beg for mercy, that he did not deliver them directly to the abyss (a place in the underworld where demons were bound).

For me the most astonishing aspect of this encounter with Jesus is the demon’s acknowledgement of Jesus authority by addressing him as Jesus, Son of the Most High God. This account mentions that the demons acknowledged Jesus’s authority over them after he had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. So, if you piece the sequence of the action together, Jesus did not wait for the demon-possessed man to come to him. He saw the man’s condition, and, immediately, he laid eyes on him, diagnosed his condition, and then confronted the demons head on.

Finally, it is interesting how Jesus dealt with the man after he had healed him. He often would tell the healed person not to tell anyone, but in this case, he asked the man to shout it out from the rooftops. I suspect one of Jesus reasons for this was to allay their fears, after they saw the awesome demonstration of his power.

Head: Jesus primary mission was to save his own people, the Jews. As this passage demonstrates, his larger mission was to save the whole world. Think of a few other encounters Jesus had with non-Jews which hinted at his universal mission?

Heart: How do you feel about Jesus casting out your own metaphorical ‘demons’ if you’ll let him? Demons of doubt, despair or apathy or…

Hands: Think of some of the so-called demons that you have been released from in your own life, thanks to the work of Jesus through his Holy Spirit. Ask God to give you an opportunity to tell someone about it, emphasising the lordship and authority of Jesus in your deliverance.

Prayer: Thank you Lord that you are our ultimate daddy, the one who came to set us free from the sin that so easily entangles us. Reveal any sin that needs to be forgiven through your Holy Spirit, that we may confess it and walk in the freedom of obeying you. We pray this in Jesus name and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

A song to listen to: Fall Before Him

Sean Kluyts – Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina