Summary: When Jesus met the demoniac He saw the man as a person with a need. Jesus met that need, like He meets OUR need.
A Needed Salvation
* Today, let’s not over-complicate this narrative from the life of Jesus. In point of fact, Jesus sees a man with a need, it is a deep need, and He meets the need. Case closed.
* I submit to you that every person who does not know Christ personally & intimately bears a resemblance, in the eyes of Jesus, to this demon possessed man. This man presents us a clear picture of those Jesus came and died for. It was a picture of before I met Jesus. Consider:
1) The Condition of a Pathetic Sinner – Political Correctness tells us to never tag a person with the title ‘pathetic’ or ‘sinner,’ yet the Bible bears out this description. (As an aside & in general: the closer we come to political correctness, the further we go from God’s truth). The text gives 6 words or concepts which describe this man (and possibly all who are apart from Christ)
a) The Cemetery – Verse 2 & 3 tells us that he was out of the tombs and that he lived in the cemetery. On the shores of the sea were the mountains and carved into the side of the mountains were the tombs, the graves, the cemetery, and this was separated from the little community. This man was filled with an unclean spirit (a demon) & since he was filled with this evil, he had little desire to be a part of ‘The land of the living’. It resembles the person who is lost & apart from Christ – and thus, don’t desire to be a part of people who know Christ.
b) The Chains – After this man has displayed his evilness, the people attempted to chain or bind him, but found little success. Once again, the world was attempting a human answer to a spiritual problem. Humans know very little about the cure for the evilness in the soul, we only know about locking down, chaining up, and throwing out such evil. Like this man, human chains cannot bind nor hold spiritual evil. The sinner cannot help himself as he’s a stranger to God & is chained to evil in his soul. He may not understand what is wrong with him, but he can’t be free.
c) The Crying – Most updated translations use the same verbiage in verse 5, they say, “CRYING OUT.” The Greek word indicates a ‘scream’ (Krazon). This meant he was in such agony that people could hear him possible for miles around screaming out in his agony. While we don’t particularly hear the ‘high pitched screaming’, I submit that people outside of Christ (not necessarily outside the church) do a different kind of screaming. While they may attack others, the real issue is found deep inside of them. They are estranged from God & their soul aches to be connected to Him and the life He offers – so their hurtful & hateful voice comes from inside.
d) The Cutting – His crying led him to cutting himself. This man was filled with such evil & disdain for himself (because he was demon possessed & apart from Christ) that he felt the need to punish himself by cutting his body. It would shock some of us to know that cutting one’s self has become a problem in our culture. For me personally, this is the absolute saddest result of our paganized society. Instead of a life-giving relationship which is found in Christ, as a society, we have focused on other things, which have brought about emotional & mental instability that could be found in this man’s life. Years ago, a documentary about deer in Africa show them being attacked by such vicious flies that they literally went crazy with pain. They would throw themselves into the water & crash into trees, trying to get rid of the agony. Self-destructive behavior (like the demoniac) comes to rid this person of the torture & pain of evil. Pathetic?
e) The Confusion – Think about it, the man came running to Jesus but literally ask Jesus to leave him alone. He wanted Jesus, but he didn’t want Jesus. (Sound familiar?) He wanted to be free but didn’t want to pay the price. He was confused about many things. Evil in a life has a way of confusing the mind. But even in his confusion, He knew what many don’t know. He knew Jesus.
f) The Control – The most pathetic thing about a lost sinner is this: Who it is that has control of his life! “What is your name?” was Jesus’ question. It was Sam, it was legion (1000).
* This was not simply a split personality; it was a take-over by evil. We don’t know how this came about, but I suggest that he didn’t realize what was happening when it started. And little by little this man gave over the control of his life to evil & the evil one. Quite likely, he sometimes spoke in a singular voice at other times his voice sounded plural; but whatever the sound, he was no longer in control. For the person outside of Christ, evil is in charge & he/she is in deep need.