HOST: Michael Whitworth
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. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 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.” 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.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 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. 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. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 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.
The one element of this story that stands out the most in my mind is the reaction and attitude of the demons toward Jesus. These demons, who called themselves "Legion" because they were many (we don't know how many, but Mark's account tells us that there were about 2,000 swine that the demons were allowed to enter into), recognized Jesus and acknowledged Him as "Son of the Most High God." Not only did they identify Him, but they acknowledged His power and submitted to His authority. Notice that they "begged" Him not to command them to go into the abyss (referring to the place of imprisonment for evil spirits) and asked permission to enter into the swine instead. In a world where those who flaunted the position of being God's chosen people would refuse and reject Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah, these demonic spirits acknowledged and submitted to Him. There is certainly a lesson there for us and our world today. Jesus is the Christ. He has been given the name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9) and He has all authority (Matthew 28:18). We must learn to submit to Him and allow Him to be the Lord of our lives.
Why do you think so many have such a difficult time acknowledging and submitting to Christ?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!