Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 6 Study # 2
May 3, 2009
27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
1901 ASV Translation:
27 And when he was come forth upon the land, there met him a certain man out of the city, who had demons; and for a long time he had worn no clothes, and abode not in any house, but in the tombs.
28 And when he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I beseech thee, torment me not.
29 For he was commanding the unclean spirit to come out from the man. For oftentimes it had seized him: and he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters; and breaking the bands asunder, he was driven of the demon into the deserts.
30 And Jesus asked him, What is thy name? And he said, Legion; for many demons were entered into him.
31 And they entreated him that he would not command them to depart into the abyss.
32 Now there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they entreated him that he would give them leave to enter into them. And he gave them leave.
33 And the demons came out from the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd rushed down the steep into the lake, and were drowned.
34 And when they that fed them saw what had come to pass, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.
35 And they went out to see what had come to pass; and they came to Jesus, and found the man, from whom the demons were gone out, sitting, clothed and in his right mind, at the feet of Jesus: and they were afraid.
36 And they that saw it told them how he that was possessed with demons was made whole.
37 And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes round about asked him to depart from them, for they were holden with great fear: and he entered into a boat, and returned.
38 But the man from whom the demons were gone out prayed him that he might be with him: but he sent him away, saying,
39 Return to thy house, and declare how great things God hath done for thee. And he went his way, publishing throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done for him.
- I. Luke's Record of the "Demonic Storm".
- A. Matthew, who records only a small portion of the event, says there were two men. He also records "...Thou Son of God..." rather than Luke's "...Son of God Most High...".
- 1. Luke deliberately says "...a certain man...". This focuses the record and leaves the other man out of the picture altogether.
- 2. Luke also, as mentioned, adds "Most High" to the description of God. Interestingly, the man also used the name "Jesus" in his confrontation.
- B. Luke's record is focused upon only one of the men.
- 1. The man's plight.
- a. He had confronted Jesus (perhaps unwittingly). Matthew's record says that the two were very fierce and no one would attempt to pass their way. Even Luke's choice of the word "met" is relatively rare in the records of the New Testament (John uses it three times in the Lazarus story and Matthew uses in in 8:28). But Luke tells the story by moving the events around. According to him, Jesus, when confronted, commanded the demons to depart from the man, but his record moves the reaction of the demons ahead of this little fact. Apparently he wished to have their identification of Jesus a bit closer to the previous story which ended with the disciples asking "Who is this?".
- b. He had been "of the city". At this point, the textual transmission creates a bit of a problem in that the various traditions have either Gadara or Gerasa. It is possible that the man was from either city, but Gadara is the city closest to this location (close enough to have the herds of pigs near to the sea). It is even possible that there was another "city" in view, but Luke uses a definite article to preface the word, "the city". The more important question is why Luke decided to even bring this up. Clearly, "the city" was subject to demons and pigs were a major element of its economy. The man had come to the bottom of his decline into the darkness, a decline that began "in the city".
- 1) "Cities" in Luke's record have a varied impact in their contexts. Perhaps the largest "context" issue of "cities" is the one which the "City of God" provides. That "city" is deliberately a place for the soul where "security" is a dominant theme through the interaction of loving relationships. But, as the impact of that city is aggressively corrupted by the adversaries, "cities" become the very antithesis of "security for the soul" in that they use "fear" to corrupt the soul and "relationships" to attack it. Even in this current record, "fear" is a fundamental focus and it drives people away from Jesus (verses 35 and 37).
- 2) At the end of our current record, the former demoniac is told by Jesus to go "into your city" and explain what God did to you and he went "according to the whole city" and proclaimed what Jesus did to him. Thus, the "cities" are, as Jesus said in 4:43, the targets of the proclamation that Jesus is God because those "cities" have become "the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird" (Revelation 18:2).
- 3) Luke's mention that this man was "a certain male from the city" clearly marks him out and his record shows that Jesus intended for him to be a messenger of testimony to "his city".
- c. He was possessed. Luke says he was "having demons". This is an interesting connection to 8:2 where we were told that Mary Magdalene had been possessed by seven demons and became a "supporter" of Jesus and His ministry. There is also this: in Luke's introduction to Jesus and His dealings with demons (4:33-35), the "demon" knew Jesus as "the Holy One of God" and "cried" that out "loudly" (same word as in this story -- 8:28) and, in 4:41, the many demons "cried out" (variation of the same word) that Jesus was the "Christ, the Son of God". There is this difference: in Capernaum the demons were in the synagogue when the people met on the Sabbath, but in Gadara the demons were out of the city in the cemetary. This reinforces the reality that in "pagan" cultures, demons are known and given a wide berth, but in "religionized" cultures, demons are denied and demoniacs are not shunned. This reveals two of the favorite ploys of demons: terrorize the victims and/or hide one's identity under a cloak. The larger picture is that Jesus' power as an exorcist demonstrates His identity as the Elohim Who has come in the flesh, an identity that the demons readily acknowledge and attempt to blunt by, of all things, "loudly" announcing it (Note Acts 16:16-17 where the same terminology is loudly proclaimed by a demon regarding the "servants of the Most High God").
- d. He did not wear the typical "outer garment" that was often shed when a given task called for it (such as keeping Jesus from being soiled by His ride on the donkey, or working in the fields, or washing someone's feet).
- 1) In the Revelation, not wearing such a garment leads to "shame" (3:18 and 16:15).
- 2) The main idea is that the person "unclothed" is not in a "suitable" style of dress for "comfortable relaxation". Rather, this condition indicates "stress".
- e. He did not reside in a house. Instead, he remained among the tombs. This is a rather typical demonstration of a fixation upon "death".
- f. The "other" factors of his plight are held in reserve until Luke uses them to explain why Jesus had commanded the demons to depart.