After the storm, we all sailed to the other side of the lake. We landed in the Gadarenes area and got out of the boats to walk into the nearby town. Obviously, by that time, we had dried out from the storm, and we were tired and in need of something to eat.
As we got close to town, a man came running to us naked and screaming loads of obscene things. One of the townsmen warned us not to get near him. He explained the man lived in the nearby cemetery. People could not go near him as he was very violent. They tried to chain and shackle him but the man was so strong he broke through. No one was ever strong enough to subdue him. This poor guy wandered among the burial caves and the hills, howling and cutting himself with stones.
I was frightened and sad watching this man screaming. He had sores all over him. He had no decency. I really wish he would cover himself up. I understood some of the torment he was going through. My heart ached for him knowing that he could be set free.
Jesus came up with his disciples and the man saw him. He ran up to Jesus and bowed low before him. The man began to shriek. We could hear an odd voice shouting at Jesus. He said “You are the Son of God. Are you going to torture us before God’s appointed time?”
Jesus explained to us the voice was from demons. Jesus said to the voice inside the man- “Who are you?”
The voice said “We are called Legion as there are many of us inside this man.”
The demons asked Jesus not to send them far away. Jesus saw a large heard of pigs nearby. Jesus commanded the demons to go into the pigs. The whole herd, about 2,000 pigs, all plunged themselves off the steep hill into the lake below and drowned.
The naked man just stood there shaking. Someone went to their boat and brought back an extra cloak which the man received gladly. Everyone around us was staring at this poor man and was stunned at what Jesus did. The man had a whole different demeanour about him. His face lit up and he was calm. He sat down on the side with his new cloak on and didn’t speak.
The farmer told his herdsmen to go into town telling them what had happened. He was upset that he lost his whole herd of pigs. But he was more amazed at what happened to this man. The villagers came to see for themselves this man they were all afraid of. Some stood quite far away shaking as they were not sure what would happen. They saw the man sitting on the side sane and fully clothed. Fear gripped the villagers and they begged Jesus to leave them alone and to go away. Some of them were angry at Jesus. Most of them were just afraid. They had never seen anything like this before. We all got a bite to eat and sadly had to leave.
The man wanted to go with Jesus and follow him everywhere. But Jesus sent him home saying “No, go back to your family and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went telling everyone what Jesus had done.
We got back into our boats and chatted about what we had seen. I was amazed yet again at how precious Jesus is. I saw today even demons recognise Him as the Son of God. They were subjected to Jesus and afraid of him. He has power over demons.
My mind was rethinking over and over again the events the past two days. Jesus is Lord over the wind and the waves. He is Lord over demons. But I did wonder what the demons meant when they asked Jesus was he going to torture them before God’s appointed time. I guess I will have to find out when the time is right.
*A demon is a fallen angel who was cast out of heaven with Satan. They torment and harass people.
*Because Jesus lives in us, we have authority to resist the devil and his demons and they have to flee (See James 4:7)
*This man was among the first evangelists to tell others about Jesus and what he has done.
For further study:
Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39