Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 6 Study # 3
May 10, 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...".
- B. Luke's record is focused upon only one of the men.
- 1. The man's plight [See notes of May 3, 2009<524>].
- a. He had confronted Jesus (perhaps unwittingly).
- b. He had been "of the city".
- c. He was possessed.
- 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".
- 3) The main issue for our consideration is why Luke felt this was sufficiently important to mention.
- a) Near the end of the record (verse 35) we are told that the people from the region found the man "clothed" and in his right mind. Thus, not only are we initially told about the "clothing" issue at the beginning, we are told that it was reversed at the end. This word is rare in the New Testament and Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon says that it means "furnished with clothing", but it is built off of the noun for the outer garment -- thus, "furnished with the outer robe". Clearly, Jesus or one of the disciples had an extra.
- b) What is it about the demons that they sponsor this "unclothed" condition? We know from the beginning that Adam and Eve were naked and did not know it and were unashamed (Genesis 2:25 and 3:7-11). Perhaps the most telling comment in this context is Adam's, "I was afraid". This is significant because of Luke's persistent focus upon "fear". It is clear that the demons in the man under our consideration were "fearful" because Luke records that they "cried out ... with a loud voice ... I beseech Thee torment me not." John declares that "fear hath torment (different word)" (1 John 4:8).
- c) It may also be very significant that the exorcism led to the man "being clothed": God's solution, even in Genesis 3 was not to restore man to his "original ignorance", but to "clothe" him. It is a familiar New Testament theological idiom that "believers" have "clothed themselves with Christ" (Galatians 3:27) and some of the more significant declarations in the Book of the Revelation are that "he that overcometh, the same will be clothed in white raiment" (3:5) and "I counsel thee to buy of Me ... white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear ..." (3:18). Even in the eschaton, "believers" will not run around ignorantly naked. There is in this a hint that the past is not completely undone; it is, rather, countered with an effective alternative. In the Genesis record, the man's eyes were opened and he knew he was naked; in the Pauline corpus, his prayer is that our eyes will be enlightened so that we may understand the hope of our calling (Ephesians 1:18).
- d) In a cultural note, it is interesting indeed that the "religion" that does its greatest damage in the world by means of a view of utopia that consists most fundamentally of a continuous sexual orgy demands that women be hidden from view altogether in terms of "clothing" and the "religion" that promises freedom and spiritual life is marked by deliberately seductive nakedness and partial clothing. This is a demonic subversion.
- 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".
- 1) This, again, is a detail that seeks our interest. What does it matter that the man did not abide in a house?
- 2) In Luke's record, Jesus deliberately makes the hearing/doing of His "Kingdom Words" like unto the building of a house against which a raging torrent beats (6:48-49). In 7:6, the centurion is relunctant to have Jesus come into his house because he is aware of the Jewish practice of shunning the "homes" of non-Jews. And the most immediately prior reference in Luke's record of a "house" is the record of Simon's towering arrogance in "inviting" Jesus to his "house" and then treating Him as an absolute nobody (7:44). Clearly, a "house" is understood by the culture to refer to the place of the most carefree human interactions. Thus, both the "outer garment" and the "house" are symbols of "freedom from the stresses and strains of the outside." The demoniac had no such freedom.
- 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.