Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 6 Study # 4
May 17, 2009
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:
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<524> and May 10, 2009<526>].
- 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).
- 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.
- 2. The man's identification of Jesus.
- a. Though Luke adds it in "explanation" after telling us the demoniac confronted Jesus, the reason for the confrontation is that Jesus had commanded the demons to come out of the man.
- 1) The reason for the command is declared to be the way the "unclean spirit" had been treating the man.
- a) The unclean spirit had "many times" seized him.
- b) The man was being bound with chains and fetters, being put under guard.
- c) The man, shattering those restraints, was being driven by the demon into the deserted places.
- 2) This stands on the background fact that Jesus had told His disciples to sail to this place and, once there, left immediately after delivering the man from his tormentors. One can only decide that He had come here for this purpose and no other.
- b. The demoniac's reaction to the command was ...
- 1) To cry out. No content given; simply that the recognition of Jesus evoked this "cry". The word Luke used is only used five times in the New Testament and the contexts invariably indicate a potent emotional state. Most of these records have actual words involved, but at least once it appears to simply be a terror driven cry (Mark 6:49). This appears to be the case also in the text before us.
- 2) To fall at His feet. This is the position of abject humiliation; a reflection of a recognition of complete incapacity. This was not "honorific". Demons hate being exposed as totally incompetent. But, faced with the Son of the Most High, incompetence is a mild term to describe the demons' condition.
- 3) To loudly say, "What to me and to You?" This, according to Luke 4:33, seems to be the typical attitude of the demons. They seem to think that Jesus has no "business" butting into their affairs. But, sheer hypocrisy stands out. In 4:33, the demon is "in the synagogue", obviously "butting into God's affairs with His people" but not wanting Jesus to butt into theirs. In our current text, the demons are excessive in their torment of their human host but they do not want Jesus to torment them. This is the final stage of "un-love" where not only do those who have embraced it not treat others with any kind of "love" at all, they cannot even see the hypocrisy involved in wanting to be treated with "love" even though they exercise it not at all. When "un-love" gets to this point, there is little corrective action that can be taken -- even by God. Only one thing remains: send them to the abyss.
- 4) To specifically identify Jesus by name ("Jesus") and by standing ("Son of the God Most High"). Clearly the demonic realm was pervaded by the knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth as to His identity. The demons did not misunderstand the presence of the Host of Heaven at the birth of Jesus; they knew that Host was on hand to prevent any damage to the babe while He was in such a vulnerable condition.
- a) "Son of the Most High" was an appellation foretold in Luke 1:32 and explained in 1:35.
- b) He was to be called "the Son of God": the Executor of the Power of El in the same manner and degree. Note John 10:34 where Jesus professes to be "shocked" that the people cannot see His exercise of El's power in what He does by quoting Psalm 82:6 where being a "god" equals being "children of the Most High".
- 5) To plead with Him, "Do not torture me" (a request explained in 8:31). If not so pathetic, this would be laughable, given the record of 8:29.