Today I want to look at Luke 8:26-32.
This is a very amazing passage because it points to a very amazing Person.
This is the passage where Jesus heals the man with demons.
VV26: Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
Vv27: When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time, he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.
This man didn’t have just one demon, but had multiple demons living in him, and “for a long time”. This was not a happy existence for this man. Scripture tells us “he had worn no clothes and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs”. We don’t know how long this man was possessed by demons or how many other countless things the demons may have done to him. Again, not a happy existence. Jesus came to end this man’s misery and save him. Jesus cared for this man immensely. What is also interesting to note is that this man was “from the city” (vv27). If you go back just a few chapters, you will see that the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair was “of the city” (Luke 7:37). Jesus was clearly caring for people that lived in the city, that were outcasts, gentiles, sinners, and demon possessed, etc. Jesus was making the point that He cared for any and all types of people.
Vv28: When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”
It is very interesting that when people truly knew who Jesus was, they had the similar reactions, they fell at his feet with a measure of fear, trembling, or adoration. We saw it in Peter’s case back in Luke 5:8, with the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair in Luke 7:37, and now we see it here, only this time it’s with a man possessed with demons (who also fear and tremble at God’s word James 2:19).
Vv29: For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. 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 desert.)
In vv28 we read that the demon begged Jesus not to torment him. In vv29 we read because Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the man. According to these two versus it would appear that when Jesus casts a demon out of a person the demon is tormented. How and why is that? We find out later. For now, we get a crystal-clear indication of not only Jesus’ identity, as a supernatural being, but a Person who wields God’s power. Jesus, according to this demon, had the ability to torment the demon by casting the demon out of the man. Casting a demon out of a person was something Jesus gave his disciples the power to do, but it is God’s prerogative to deal out punishment, and the demon was ascribing this attribute to Jesus. On a side note: we notice is that this spirit is unclean. Jesus is holy, God is holy, and angels in heaven are holy but Satan, demons, and humans who rebel against God are not holy.
Vv30: Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him.
When I came to this part of the passage, I don’t know about you, but I wondered, “why did Jesus ask the demon his name if He knew all things?” I think the answer lies in other passages of scriptures. Think back to Genesis 3:9 where it says, But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “where are you?”. We see there that God made Adam, and everything around him, so He must have known where Adam was. The reason God answered this question was because He wanted Adam to clearly identify his sinful actions of hiding from God. We see another example of this in Luke 20:24 where Jesus says, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” The point of these passages are not that God, or Jesus, was unaware of things but that they were teaching the hearers lessons and helping the listener be aware of what was happening. For example, after Jesus asks the question about the denarius (coin) He teaches “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Vv31: And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.
Now going back to an earlier point, in vv28 we read that the demon begged Jesus not to torment him. In vv29 we read because Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the man. According to these two versus it would appear that when Jesus casts a demon out of a person the demon is tormented. Here we see that, if Jesus chose to, He could send the demon to the abyss. What is the Abyss? We know that from the demon’s testimony it is a place of torment, but do we know anything else about the abyss that Jesus has the power and authority to send this demon? I think we get a clue in 2 Peter 2:4 where it says, “for if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until judgement”. We learn from this passage that the Abyss is hell, a place of judgment for the demons. We tend to talk about Jesus as loving Lord and Savior, but we forget to fear Him as king over hell for people and angels who reject Him.
Vv32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission.
These demons who rebelled against Jesus, and who was now torturing this man, was about to get an awful fate, but for now, it was postponed. Jesus having authority and power over these demons gave them permission to enter pigs instead of going into hell. Rest assured though, all demons and people who rebel against will have their part in hell.
I would like to end with the attributes this terrified demon attributed to Jesus:
Jesus had the power to torment them.
Jesus had the power to give them permission.
Jesus had the power to command them.
Jesus had the power to send them to hell.
Let us tremble at who Jesus is and that He loved us and saved us from a terrible fate if we trust and follow Him. Let us know that this King of Hell and Judgment went out of His way to rescued a man who had rebelled against Him from demons who had rebelled against Him.