S184P3 – Great introductions: the One the demons obey

Lk. 8:28-33

When [the man] saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I beg You, do not torment me!”  For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.  For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.  Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”  And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him.  And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.  Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain.  So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them.  And He permitted them.  Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

It might look like there were two introductions here, but there were not.  The demons who possessed this man were fallen angels, which means that they had been part of the angelic host previously.  They certainly would have known Jesus from the heavens.  He is the God against whom they had turned so long ago, and they knew the kind of power He has.  The man that they possessed, on the other hand, did not.  He might have heard about this man Jesus who was performing miracles and claiming to be the Son of God, but we do not know that for sure.  What we know about him is that he had been possessed by these demons for a long time.  Whatever part of his mind was still lucid might have thought that this would never change.

Spiritual possession is a unique kind of bondage.  Imagine not being able to control your own tongue or your limbs.  You might be aware of your words and actions, and you might well desire not to say and do those things, but you have no control.  Just like the disciples would have been watching this unfold before their eyes as bystanders, the possessed man was part of that audience.  Perhaps he prayed in his head.  Perhaps he was crying on the inside.  Whatever the case, he encountered great compassion and received complete freedom.  His introduction to Christ produced what we hope every introduction to Christ produces.  This man would leave that scene in liberty from bondage and ready to tell anyone who would listen of the One who had delivered him.

Here we have a man who had been completely controlled by these demons, and he likely was fearful.  When Jesus showed up, the tables were turned on those creatures.  The Lord was the one in control, and the demons were the ones who were scared.  That show of authority must have been too much for this man to fathom.  For such seemingly powerful creatures to be brought into submission in an instant would have shown him the undeniable authority of Christ.  So impactful and fruitful was this introduction that the man wanted to go and follow Jesus then and there, which shows real transformation.  Father, let us see your hand of deliverance and show of authority create true change in others as your disciples saw here.