Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil[b] spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[c] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Demon is real. It was real in Jesus’ days and it is still real in today’s day. As I reflect upon myself, I see that many a times I hurt myself in many ways just like the passage above. While I don’t really hurt myself just like this demon-possessed man, but I do hurt myself in some other ways. Example, I hurt myself emotionally, example doing certain things while pursuing someone I like. While there is nothing wrong to pursue someone I like, and nothing wrong if I still pursue her even she doesn’t like me or rejected me, but when I over-do this pursuit deeds, I am just being folly because it is like I am keep hurting myself in a folly manner.
Other than that, I also see myself many a times have some kind of evil and wicked thoughts. This too is just like me being demon-possessed. Another way I see myself like being demon-possessed is my craving, obsession or addiction. It could be in games (Facebook games), share-market monitoring, emails, online-chat, negative or unspiritual thoughts and etc. All these craving, obsession or addiction hurt myself, my heart too.
Another way to look at demon-possess is when we sin, it is as if we were demon-possessed. Visualize an angry man, full of rage, like Incredible Hulk, who throw everything near him, who scold every single person who try to help him. Isn’t him just like this demon-possessed man?
What I need to do is not to continue to allow demon to continue to possessed me. I believe if demon will not possess me if I choose not to allow so. I should allow the Holy Spirit to possess me. At times we can be a little confused whether we are demon-possessed or Holy Spirit possessed. This passage can help to clear up this confusion, Galatians 5:19-25
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
I need to think of every way and decision to control myself, my obsessive habits and alike. I have started to make such decision. Last month’s goal or decision is I can only facebooking during weekend which I managed achieved. This month is to bring forward last month’s goal but added that I only have an hour facebooking for each Saturday and Sunday. Also, no Astro during weekday at home. Hopefully, I can achieve this month’s goal too.
We should also avoid any curiosity about or involvement with demonic forces or the occult. (Deu 18:10-12). If we resist the devil and his influences, he will flee from us (James 4:7).
v5: 17 – Jesus told this man to tell his friends about the miraculous healing. Most of the time, Jesus urged those he healed to keep quiet. Why the difference? Here are the possible answers: (1) The demon-possessed man had been alone and unable to speak. Telling others what Jesus did for him would prove that he was healed. (2) This was mainly a Gentile and pagan area, so Jesus was not expecting great crowds to follow him or religious leaders to hinder him. (2) By sending the man away with this good news, Jesus was expanding his ministry to people who were not Jews. (Source: Tyndale Life Application Study Bible)
v19-20 – One of my struggles in sharing my testimony is I can’t really re-call who am I before I become a Christian which is 12-13 years ago. I only remember a bit. Also I feel that my changes seems little. Another struggles is I feel that there are some areas of life I have become worse after I become Christian. That also makes me feel struggle to share my testimony to others. I think I have gave some thought about this. Maybe there are indeed much area I have grown in after I become Christian, just that I didn’t notice or my defectiveness hinders me or I need some assurance from people to assure that I am indeed have grown or change in certain area. Perhaps I should also get some perspective into what I thought in regards to this.
v20 – Decapolis, or the Ten Cities, was located southeast of the Sea of Gallilee. Ten Cities, each with its own independent government, formed an alliance for protection and for increased trade opportunities. Although Jews also lived in the area, they were not the majority. Many people from the Decapolis followed Jesus (Matthew 4:25). (Source: Tyndale Life Application Study Bible)