Encounters with Jesus (The Demon Possessed Man)
Jason White

A demon-possessed man encountered Jesus, and Jesus drove the demons out of him and gave him rest and peace. He begged Jesus to let him go with him, but Jesus told him to stay and tell everyone what He had done for him. We are transformed to go and share the good news with others.

Luke 8:38-39…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.




Sermon Audio Transcript
So several years ago when I was at a different church, one of my church members asked me to come by her house to visit…and I didn’t really know what she wanted to visit about, but when I got there, you could tell she was pretty visibly distraught. I asked her what was bothering her and why she was upset, and I wasn’t really prepared for what she began to tell me…She said, “Jason I sense a real demonic presence here in this house.” I said, “What do you mean by that?” And she began to tell me about how she was just terrified and living in constant fear b/c of these demons she felt were present in her house…and that she wasn’t getting much sleep…she just felt like there was this darkness that was present and just lived in worry/fear all the time…And I being like many of you, don’t know what to think about those kinds of things sometimes when I hear them…Because we live in a modern society where there are all kinds of movies and we have been made aware of kind of behind the scenes things sometimes where people have just been trying to scare someone, or there is a logical explanation for those kinds of things.And it can be really easy to dismiss these kinds of things, and chalk someone up to being crazy or that they’ve just spent too much time listening to someone who was feeding them lies and causing unnecessary panic and worry…But at the same time, I think we all sense evil in the world at different times in our lives…maybe even walked into places or environments where we just got this real feeling like we were in a dark place…that there was definitely evil present, and it’s scary…I know that I’ve actually heard missionaries from the U.S. talk about how they have gone to other parts of the world and witnessed some very dark and disturbing things…Witchcraft and what seem like demon possessions of people and just some really dark and scary stuff.And the Bible certainly talks about this kind of thing happening as well…demon possession, spiritual attacks, and just a real darkness that is present throughout the world…So what are we to think about these things? How are we to react to experiences we have or feelings that we encounter with evil and demonic forces?Well, today as we continue in our Encounter message series, we are going to see a man who was possessed by several demons have an encounter with Jesus…And I think what we see happen here can give us some real insight as to what to think about these things and how we are to react to them in our world today. Luke 8:26…26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, 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.Can you imagine? Luke says FOR A LONG TIME…this man had not worn clothes, lived in a house & that he lived in the tombs…I mean this man is being stripped of his personal dignity by this demon… • forcing him to walk around naked in front of others…• he isolated him…removed him from community and away from others into isolation…• and not just anywhere in isolation but in a tomb, among the dead and the decaying. So yeah this guy is having his personal dignity just completely stripped away from him by this demon…his life is a life of nakedness, isolation, and death and decay. Let’s see what happens when he encounters Jesus…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. So we learn here even more about the effects this demon had on this man… #1, He was violent and incredibly strong (broken chains)#2, And again Luke points out that the demon drove him to solitary places…forcing him into a life of isolation from others.But we also see here how this demon responded to being in the presence of Jesus….First of all, He recognized Him. He knew who Jesus was. How? Well, because Jesus had created him. I mean scripture teaches us that demons are fallen angels. God created all things…the heavens and the earth and all of the heavenly beings as well as all of humanity…everything! And these angels, just like Satan, rebelled against God, wanting to be in His place and were kicked out of heaven and have been wreaking havoc in the world God created ever since. So, the demon recognized WHO JESUS WAS…But here’s the other thing…He also understood that JESUS WAS ULTIMATELY THE ONE IN CONTROL. As powerful as this demon was to allow this man he was possessing to break chains that once bound him, he recognized that he had nothing on Jesus! I mean the demon, Luke tells us BEGGED Jesus not to torture him. So, obviously, one of the questions that arises is…“What was this torture all about that the demon alluded to?” Well, we are not told here, but when Matthew tells his account of this same story in his gospel, Matthew adds a phrase to it that helps us see more about what this demon is referring too…Look at Matthew 8:29 - 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”“before the appointed time” is a reference to the end times… See, Scripture teaches us that at the end of time, after Jesus comes back again that there will be a time when he will cast Satan and all of his demons into an abyss…which will be referenced by the demon in just another verse or two as well. So this is the torture that they are aware is part of their destiny and are begging Jesus not to send them into at this moment. So once again, I just want to point out that demons…• Know who Jesus is,• And they recognize their place before him. • They understand that he is in control…­ Of their eternal destiny…­ And even their destiny in this very moment. Okay so let’s keep going…V. 3030 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.Now, if we are to take this literally, that means that this man was being possessed by a thousand or more demons. Legion was a word for a unit of thousands of soldiers during this day. So, this was a great number of demons present and having this conversation with Jesus. So if this is a battle that is about to take place between good and evil, it is ONE vs. THOUSANDS… But even though the numbers are in their favor, again they still recognize that Jesus is the one with the real power here! V. 31…31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. So here is that word we mentioned a second ago. They knew Jesus was in control of their eternal destiny and they are begging him not to send them there yet. So, they look around and are trying to find anything they can go into instead of Jesus casting them into the Abyss…and they finally spot something and make a new request to Jesus…v. 3232 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. Now we are not told how many pigs were involved in Luke’s account of this story here, but Mark in his gospel, tells us that it was around 2,000. So, again we are talking about a lot of demons here. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. “Ohhhh, those poor little piggies.” Like, “Why did Jesus have to send them into those poor little piggies and they all die?” So, honestly, we aren’t told here… but one of the reasons that has been suggested & that I find very likely is that Jesus wanted to show visibly that these demons had in fact been removed & taken care of…First to show that He is in charge/has authority over even demons…and also to show visibly to this man who was being possessed by them that they were taken care of. I mean, Jesus could have just removed them, but how would this man be certain they were gone? Well, if he visibly sees them go into something else He could rest now…which happens next…v.34…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. Notice the contrast that Luke paints for us here on what the man was like now compared to when the demon was in control. Instead of being “driven by the demon” (8:29), he was “sitting at rest” (8:35)…instead of being naked (8:27), he was “dressed” (8:35)…instead of being among the tombs (8:27), he was “at Jesus’ feet” (8:35)…instead of being “chained hand and foot and kept under guard” (8:29), he was “in his right mind.” (8:35) I mean what an encounter with Jesus! This man’s life has completely changed! He is at peace…finally able to rest…incredible!But the people who saw this about him, instead of being grateful and drawn to Jesus’ merciful power having been displayed, it scared them…and they wanted nothing to do with Jesus. V.36 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. How sad. I mean, yeah it probably is a little scary to witness or be told about someone who has that kind of power and is standing in their presence. But they had just witnessed him use that power for good…to free a man who was in bondage. Now, it might have had something to do with the economic impact that they might have feared coming their way too. I mean if this guy had already killed off 2,000 of their pigs, how many more would he kill? But again, Jesus had showed a man compassion and provided a way for the people and this guy to visibly see He is in authority over demons…demons whose role it is to torture and confuse and wreak havoc on people like them. And here is a guy who is strong enough to put them in their place and protect them from this evil, but yet they are more worried about the economic impact this could have on them rather than what demons could do to them…so they ask him to leave, and he does. v. 38…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. The word translated “told” here in the original Greek is kerysso (ker E sO) and it means to preach…to proclaim extensively and publicly. Here is what I want you to see… This demon-possessed man has an encounter w/Jesus, his life is radically transformed by Him, and then Jesus sends him back home to tell others so that they too can be transformed as well.And Jesus honestly does the same thing to you and me. Now it may not be that we were demon possessed, but if we have had an encounter with Jesus and put our faith and trust in Him for salvation, then we have been transformed and changed… 1 Pet. 1:23 says…23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.When we receive Jesus into our lives we are born again, we are transformed and changed…our lives are different now…And we have a story to tell!And sometimes Jesus uses us to tell that story first and foremost to the people in our own communities just like He did with this man.I mean it’s great to go on mission trips, and sometimes Jesus sends us to other places…far away places so that He can use us to spread the good news in those places for all to hear…But first and foremost, He sends us back into our own homes, our own neighborhoods, our own schools/workplaces, our own communities so that He can use us to tell the people we know how much we’ve been changed, and how much He can change them as well…So this is certainly one application for each of us today through this encounter we see this man having with Jesus…Who does He want to use you to tell? Is there someone in your family? Someone in your neighborhood? Someone at your school or work? Listen to Him, and trust Him. Tell them your story and how much Jesus has changed you and how He can change them as well.And so this is one application I think for all of us…but let’s also talk for a second about this demonic activity in our world…And so let me remind you what we saw in this encounter… Satan/demons have no power over Jesus. It was ONE vs. 2,000 and who won? Yeah, Jesus did. Demons know who Jesus is and they fear him. Let me say that again…they fear him!So, what does that tell you about coming into contact with demonic things in this world if Christ lives in you? It tells us that the same Being that the demons cowered to in this encounter we looked at in Luke this morning lives inside of you and that tells us that they are cowering in your presence too b/c Jesus is always in you. It tells us that you don’t have to fear them. Jesus is bigger than whatever they are attempting to do and He is in control.Now, I know some of you are thinking, but we saw this man was possessed…& I mentioned earlier how people have witnessed other people being possessed even in our world today…and this is true…BUT listen, it is impossible for this kind of thing to happen to someone who is IN CHRIST. B/C what that means is that you are In His possession…and Scripture tells us that nothing can snatch us out of Jesus’ possession. So, Satan can and will try to mess with you…he will try to deceive you and keep you from experiencing the Life of Christ in you, but He cannot take possession of someone who is in the possession of Jesus. So you don’t need to walk around in fear of demons and the possibility of being possessed in the same way this man was…As we mentioned in our spiritual warfare series a month or 2 ago, we need to be aware that Satan, knowing that he has lost us to Jesus, will try to rob us of the life we have in Christ…And that he will try to do that through lies/deception, but if we understand who Jesus is/who we become in Him after we encounter Him for salvation, then we can walk in victory over the darkness in this world…B/C Jesus is our victor/He is our strength/He is our Peace