FEAR NO EVIL
Lord, evil has no power over You.
Read LUKE 8:26–39
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[a] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
a Luke 8:26 Some manuscripts Gadarenes; other manuscripts Gergesenes; also in verse 37
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“The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Yesterday we read about Christ’s power over nature. Today we learn of his power over evil. Luke has described Jesus casting out demons earlier in his Gospel, but this victim is different. He is an extreme case, seemingly beyond all hope. The vast number of demons involved, the wild behavior they provoke, the inability of others to help or restrain him in any way, all emphasize this central idea of “hopelessness.” In addition, he is a Gentile—and not a respectable God-fearing one like the centurion we read about last week. To Jesus’ Jewish disciples, this further emphasizes that this man is beyond help.
Evil spirits have immense power, whether over this man or others today, illustrated by the havoc he has caused in the community. Yet these spirits are terriﬁed of Christ. As soon as they catch sight of Jesus, they drive the demoniac to Christ’s feet and beg him not to torture them. Indeed, Greek verbs translated as “beg” are used
three times in connection with the demons (28,31,32). Jesus appears to have little trouble dispensing with them, despite their numbers. The locals are so stunned that Jesus could deal with such an insurmountable problem that they, too, “are overcome with fear” (37).
For many of us this seems a somewhat alien story, but the message of Christ’s power over evil is still quite relevant to us today. We all experience times when fear looms in our minds and our problems feel larger than Christ himself. Perhaps our weaknesses, our failures or the criticisms of others haunt us, or we feel dominated by uncertainties about the future or the damage of the past. When we struggle with such things, remember this demoniac. If Christ could overthrow what oppressed this man back then, he can help us deal with whatever overwhelms us today.
Does anything threaten to overwhelm you? Reflect on the power Christ has over evil, demonstrated in this passage, and with that in mind, bring your situation to him.
Lord, we believe that You are the absolute master over all forms of evil, whether borne of humans or of the devil.