The Case Of The Gerasene Miracle.
In this note I thought we could look at Luke Chapter 8 verses:26-39 as it shows an important incident in the life and working of Jesus of Nazareth.
There are always a number of things that we can learn from studying any passage of the bible.
A. We can just pick up the surface content of the passage when we go through it quickly.
B. We can meditate on it and see beyond that to one layer deep and receive the intended message that God has for all believers.
C. We can go one layer deeper and see the revelation that God has for those who draw close to him and look for guidance from the Spirit of Jesus that is in all believers.
So let's see what God may be teaching us with this passage of scripture.
Jesus and the disciples got out of the boat on the shore opposite
Galilee they were met by two naked men who lived in the nearby tombs.
Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man but it
The spirit that was speaking obviously knew Jesus and also saw not having a body to inhabit as being 'tortured'. This seems therefore to be a demon rather that a fallen angel.
At this point Jesus asked it what it's name was and it said it's name was 'Legion', confirming that it wasn't just one demon but many!
The demons also affirmed that they did not want to be banished but wanted to continue in a body and asked for permission to enter some swine nearby.
Jesus grants them permission and they enter the swine, only to spook the pigs and drive them over a cliff and drown them all.
The man though was rescued from his plight and came into his right mind and having been given some clothes to wear he sat at the feet of Jesus to learn from the Master.
The reaction of the locals was not so good though. They were fearful of Jesus and actually asked him to leave the vicinity rather than consider following this Rabbi who had rescued the demon-possessed man from their city.
That's the information on the surface. A story of one of Jesus' miracles with another man, probably a gentile, being delivered from oppression by spiritual forces.
But let's look a little deeper at Jesus' dealings with the more demonized of the two men who had 1000 demons in him!
LET'S LOOK NOW AT A DEEPER LEVEL.
Have you ever tried to lead people to Jesus and found that of the many people that you may have encouraged in any season only one or maybe two showed any long term interest? Well the first lesson we can learn from this passage is not to be disheartened by this! Jesus went out of His way here, crossing a lake, facing and quelling a storm, and yet only saved one man and had everybody else in the locality tell him to leave town! If this can happen to Jesus do not get down in the dumps if your success rate is also low at times.
Have you gone out of your way to help someone and found that obstacles seem to be placed in your path when you are only trying to do good? This happened to Jesus too!
When Jesus and the disciples were crossing the lake a massive storm blew up such that hardened fishermen were scared and turned to Jesus for help. They woke Him up and asked him to do something, because after all He supposedly cared for them! Then they sat back and waited for Jesus to act and He went to the front of the boat and rebuked the storm! The fact that he 'REBUKED' the storm suggests that it was not a natural storm but was driven by evil spirits also.
Having done what the disciples asked, Jesus then chided them for a lack of faith. He expected them to behave differently in those circumstances. Have you ever considered why?
First of all at the start of the journey in the boat Jesus said to them, “Let's go to the other side of the lake”. He then got in the boat and went to sleep. So, if God tells you, “Let's go across the lake”. What should you expect to happen? (Pause)
You should expect to go to the other side!
Our expectation should be that whatever God says to us through His manual, the bible, or directly, then He will fulfil it. We can take it to the bank because God cannot lie!
Secondly, having been taught by Jesus to cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse lepers and raise the dead, Jesus would expect them to use the power they had through Holy Spirit to calm the storm themselves with their faith.
Thirdly, for us today, if when we have a problem we, figuratively, go to God (I.e. wake up Jesus), Pray for his intervention (ask him to fix it because after all he's supposed to care for us) and then wait around for God to quell the storm; we should know that while God will help His children who come to Him in that mode, it shows a lack of faith on our part.
After all Jesus, said in Matthew 10:8 that all believers would, “heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons! And, He said that believers would do even greater works than He did! We can do a lot more with Jesus in us than we attempt to do each day! It's true that we can do nothing without Jesus, but believers are never without Jesus. He said He would never leave us or forsake us.
We all have a long way to go in fulfilling the mission Jesus has for each of us.
As we continue to look deeper into this passage we see that delivering this man from his trial came at a great cost. The demon's extracted a cost of the lives of all those pigs with the loss of revenue for the owners.
The ultimate deliverance wrought by Jesus for our salvation came at the cost of great pain, torture and punishment; being beaten with stripes for our healing; suffering the loss of fellowship with His Father, God, and the cost of His life.
Salvation is FREE but it was provided at GREAT COST!
And what does Jesus ask of us for this grace which washes away all our sins, past, present and future? That we should tell others what our Great God has done for us.
This is also in the story! Let's look in our manuals again in verses 38 and 39.
Luke 8:38-39 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.
That's what Jesus says to all His disciples. “Go ye therefore into all the world”. “Preach the Gospel unto every one”....
We all can play our parts with Holy Spirit's help, guidance and power and we'll see Jesus' revelation to us and our calling when we take the time to get below the surface.
Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.