In the 1980s, Dana Carvey made famous, or perhaps infamous, his role as The Church Lady on Saturday Night Live. The most recognizable line of most of The Church Lady sketches asked the question, “Could it be… SATAN?” While most of America chuckled at the pursed lips and bobbing head of the character, the question from a biblical standpoint poses no laughing matter. In today’s passage, Jesus and the disciples encounter a man overtaken by not just one, but many demons.
- When was the last time you gave serious thought to the unseen, spiritual warfare being waged around us each day as we strive to know Jesus more?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 8:26-39 (ESV)
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesushad 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. 28 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.” 29 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.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 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. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessedman had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What things does verse 27 tell us about the condition of the man that Jesus and his disciples met in the country of the Gerasenes?
- What does verse 29 imply about the power and tenacity of the demons?
- How did all that change when Jesus entered the scene? What details in verses 31-33 prove that?
- Why do you think Jesus did not allow the healed man to stay with him?
- Think back to a time when the power of Jesus’ presence in your life rescued you. How long has it been since you told someone else how much Jesus has done for you?
RESPOND TO GOD
This passage reminds us of three things—we have a real enemy, a real ally, and a real responsibility. Satan and his demons are real, and they are in the business of driving us to live among the tombs, like walking dead people. But Jesus is just as real, and if we will seek him, he will empower us to return to the land of the living. Because of this, we have a responsibility to “declare how much God has done for [us].”
- Ask God to help you filter out all of the voices that call to you each day, enticing you to believe that other voices—even your own—are more trustworthy. Ask God to help you seek Jesus and respond only to his voice.
- Pray that God would bring someone into your path today whom you can tell how much Jesus has done for you.