Who chooses to live among the dead? who moves around the tombs? Our next protagonist was a man from the city who was now living among the dead. who was he? someone’s son? someone’s husband? perhaps a next door neighbor? Naked, dirty, alone, enslaved and destroyed by evil for a long time but still found life when he met with the Master. We find this man’s story in Luke 8:26-39
The passage says that Jesus went into that area by boat and as He stepped into land a man met Him and that man was demon possessed. This man was totally controlled by the evil spirits for He was unable to live a semi normal life. I imagine a naked man with a long beard, knotted and long hair, blank stare, rotten teeth, cuts and bruises on his body and a sour foul smell to him.This is the way this man is portrayed but does it mean that all evil possessed look like this? perhaps not. perhaps what is common is the repulsion to come in contact with Jesus. evil and Holy don’t match.
As Jesus stepped foot on ground, evil was upset and scared. it did not want to see or hear Jesus. The mere fact that Jesus was near made him tremble. How could the demon ignore Jesus? Why couldn’t Jesus just leave it alone? Why did Jesus have to come to this place? after all the people in this area didn’t have anything to do with God right? It says that the man fell to the ground before Jesus and cried out and in a loud voice he said “what business do we have with each other, Jesus son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me/us. Leave us alone! this is our territory, allow us here. They know us well. They don’t know you (my translation)
The evil spirits knew that Jesus had the power to take them out and free their victim. Evil thought they could trick Jesus and remain in charge by asking Jesus to allow them to enter the swine. They might have seen the swine as a choice to remain alive so that they could go back and take over another human later, after all, these humans were unprotected. what they did not count with is that the Lord had commanded the swine to rush into the lake and drown. I Know, I know it doesn’t say that but why else would the swine commit suicide? Jesus commanded evil out, they went into the swine and down, down the swine went into the abyss. The Man was FREE!!
This man was now a free man and stood at the foot of the Master praising him and giving him glory! he knows what it’s been like! He has been dead and now He is alive! he is wearing clean clothes, does not shake anymore, he smells good, He is not in the run and life is good! The people from the surrounding area come after they heard the report and see him well!! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!?… NO, big No. They were afraid and ask Jesus to leave. Like the demon in the man, they ask to be left alone.
These people didn’t seem to recognize what was good or bad, what was bad or worse. Are we also confused sometimes as to what is good vs bad? We become use to the “new norm” What is our best sometimes looks weird and scary. Jesus; Who is that? get him out! don’t let Him in!. His followers are freaks! There is nothing wrong with us! We are fine! Stay out Jesus. They asked Jesus to leave. Jesus was too scary for them! What do you mean He took out a demon? What is a demon? The Lord of Life was near yet they rejected him.
Were they afraid because the swine drowned? but they did not eat swine for they were following the law at that time and they were told to stay away from swine so why did they care about the swine anyway? Perhaps it had all to do with their state. they might have been far from following God at all. Jesus gave them what they wanted and went away but He said to the man that had freedom. Go and describe what great things God has done for you! The man did just that.