Summary: Authority Over the Powers of Darkness Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke) Brad Bailey – May 19, 2019
Authority Over the Powers of Darkness
Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke)
Brad Bailey – May 19, 2019
Note: The following notes are more extensive that what I did or could have stated within reasonable time. As I do not memorize or read notes, but rather use them to refine thoughts then presented more freely. While the actual message given may be more dynamic, I hope others will find that these notes can serve well in providing even more help in engaging this passage..
Today we are continuing in our series Encountering Jesus…through the Gospel of Luke.
As one sees throughout all accounts, his central message is that the Kingdom of God is breaking through… embodied in himself…his life…his sacrifice that will defeat the power of sin… and his resurrection that will defeat the power of death. And we should not be surprised that this confronts the powers that have brought chaos to God’s order.
To encounter Jesus… involves engaging the reality of evil and the spiritual forces of evil.
Broadly speaking the majority of the world throughout human history has believed in some spiritual forces of good and evil.
The human experience has had a sense that there is something beyond human nature that influences if not inspires good… and that there is something beyond human nature that influences if not inspires evil.
As many note today, our current western culture is living in a dichotomy… beginning with many refer to as the Enlightenment from which some emphasize a freedom from any outside powers. This has come to promote the belief that our existence is simply the evolving of a material world… for which there is no real meaning to human life pre se… nor ultimate moral nature. The only force that is at work is the natural progression towards survival. Good and evil are not really meaningful terms nor forces.
Alongside trying to cultivate what we might call this secular view of life….there has been an equally strong sense that the human experience is not simply progressing by rational explainable means…that good and evil are quite real… and connected to forces bigger than ourselves.
I believe that while modern minds and technology has brought some good means to gain control over the created realm… we remain in a world of vast mystery.
We can try and presume we can control life with our understanding and ability to name things… but with everything we come to know it only expands what we don’t know…and certainly don’t control.
We can distract ourselves from the mystery… but it is like building a compound in the middle of a vast forest and trying to turn on more lights to feel safer … they can’t defy what lies in the darkness.
The vast darkness remains.
That is the reality which Jesus brings forth. Jesus enters the world to fulfill what had been revealed through the people and prophets Israel… that the world is neither ruled by the capricious mythological gods of the Romans or Greek…nor by the minds of man…but by the eternal Creator… to which there has long been some form of spiritual opposition. (This revelation would transform much of the world.)
Evil is that which seeks it’s own. There is some form of spiritual opposition which will seek to control and dominate and ultimately destroy all that which reflects God’s goodness…because His goodness reflects Hs glory. Such forces seek to draw human life into the same vanity of self-oriented pride… a false freedom that can bring the human soul into a state of spiritual oppression and even possession.
I invite you to follow along… as I read the whole of this rather dramatic encounter…
Luke 8: 26-39
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29 For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. 30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.