Luke 8:26-27a, 35-39 - Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met Him a man from the city who had demons. ... 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. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 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. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying. "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.
In our Bible reading for today we have the story of the man possessed by demons. Luke describes him as a man who had lost almost everything. He was homeless—he lived among the tombs, away from family and friends. He was naked—his body unprotected from the weather and from shame. He was out of his mind as a result of the demon possession. He was virtually nameless—when Jesus asked his name, the demons answered "Legion," referring to the huge numbers of them who were present.
Now this was a man whom Jesus loved. He had created him, not to be a plaything for demons, but to be a human being in God's own image, blessed and whole. There was no way Jesus would stand by and let him continue in this state. And indeed, He was already commanding the evil spirits to leave when they broke in with their plea for mercy. A few seconds later, the evil spirits were gone. The man's sanity returned. Somebody—one of the disciples? Jesus Himself? Somebody supplied him with a change of clothes. And by the time the townspeople made it out to see for themselves, the man was dressed and ready to go home. Jesus had restored all his losses.
But the man wanted even more, and who could blame him? He begged Jesus for permission to go with Him, to follow Him around as the other disciples did. But Jesus had another plan in mind. "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you," He said. And the man did just that. He went home and told everybody how much Jesus had done for him. He became a powerful witness for God's love.
The man didn't realize it then, but Jesus was already in the process of doing the greatest thing He could do for him and for all of us who suffer under the power of the devil. Jesus was moving steadily toward the cross. He was on His way to the crowning battle of His life, where He would take on the devil with all his frightening power—and win. By His death, Jesus freed us from the grip of the devil. By His resurrection, He won for us everlasting life—for all of us who belong to Him, who trust in Him as our Savior.
Now the process has begun. Jesus is restoring all our losses. He has given us life for death, faith for distrust, hope and healing instead of despair and destruction. He promises us much, much more. On the day of His return, God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. There will be no more suffering or loss or death or grief. Then we will rejoice, just as this man did. How much Jesus has done for us!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for what You have done for us. Keep us close to You forever. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Have you ever seen/met someone who was possessed by a demon?
2. Why do you think people shunned or ostracized the man in the text, even after he had been healed?
3. Has God ever healed you of an intensely evil trait or attitude or maybe even a demon, perhaps?
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