Summary: What can we learn from the maniac of Gadara? We can learn about the depth of sin, the destination of all those involved in sin and we can learn of the Deliverer.
The world has got some problems. OK, the world has got a lot of problems. Many men and women today seem to feel that they have the answer to those problems. One political party blames another political party. This country blames that country. In all the years since the Civil War and all that has transpired in the name of equality and civil rights there is still great unrest between people of different skin color and ethnic backgrounds. Some blame the problems over greed, oil and money. Others still seek to enslave their fellow men for personal power and fortune. The world has got some problems.
But there is an answer. The Word of God gives us that answer. All but three books of the New Testament begin by telling us about Jesus, either mentioning Him by name or alluding to Him. He is the theme of the Bible and the answer to man’s problem. Let’s look at Luke 8:26-35. In this story we will see the depth of sin. We will see the destination of all those in bondage to sin. And finally, we will see the deliverance from sin.
What is the depth of sin? To what depths will man go when he is enslaved to sin? I believe that we can get a pretty thorough picture from our text today. Here in verse 27 we are told some things about the depth of sinful man. He’s been in this state for a long time. Sin can pull a man down and keep him down for a long, long time. Sin has often been compared to quick sand. Once in it, a man struggles to free himself but he just continues to work himself deeper and deeper until he feels utterly hopeless. Psalm 42 compares the life of one in the throws of sin to being stuck in miry clay. If you’ve never been in miry clay let me tell you about it. It’ll suck the boot right off your foot. As you push off with one foot in an attempt to pull your other foot out you sink down even further. If you decide to leave your boot behind with your second step it will pull your sock off. It doesn’t get much better from there on. Sin is addictive by nature. Certain types of sins are labeled as addictive but all sin has that function as its nature. It may be that you have not found yours yet, but just wait, it’s out there.
And he wore no clothes. Some have said and I do not disagree with them that public nakedness is a sign of demon possession. But let me say that a person has a problem with their sin nature long before they reach the point that this man is at. The problem exists both in the eye of the beholder as well as in the mind of the one who dresses or acts in this manner. Once Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of knowledge in the garden they both immediately knew that they were naked. When God came looking for them they hid themselves. A sign of a generation that has no fear of God is that they are willingly to publicly display themselves, their bodies with no apprehension or fear that what they are doing is wrong. Long before a man or woman finds themselves in the proverbial cemetery wearing no clothes we will see promiscuity, sexual permissiveness, lewdness and immorality manifested in their lives. It is a sign of their carnality and an indicator of the direction in which their life is traveling. As immoral as our present generation has become, they have nothing on this man that we find in verse 27.
And then we see that he abode not in a house but in the tombs. In that day, with the uncleanliness associated with the dead, there was no lower place that a man could find himself that living amongst the dead. And where do we see so many of our young people spending their time these days? The night clubs, the movie theatres and unfortunately, something that they have no control over, the hallways of the public schools. Their senior year of high school finds them wanting to go to the beaches of Florida for Spring Break. Spring Break during their college years takes them to places much worse than that. The depth of sin takes some such as the alcoholic to life on the streets. It takes the young lady who gets involved with her boyfriend to the abortion clinic where she terminates the life of her little baby. And we could go on and on.
To what depth will sin take you? If you’re not saved, then some of these things that I’ve said so far probably sound pretty good to you. Many of them, were there no consequences would be pretty attractive. But there are consequences and we’ll speak to them in just a minute. But Christian, how far will sin take you? For me, I have to be constantly on my guard. I know, you say but you’re a preacher, a Sunday school teacher. As a man, I have to be constantly on my guard. I have to ask God for forgiveness daily. I have to put road blocks up and be always on the lookout, not just for the snares the devil puts in my way but I must also be wary of my flesh. Do you know that most sin doesn’t come directly from the devil? According to James, sin comes from the lusts of my own flesh. I don’t need any help from the outside. Most of the danger I face comes from the inside, from the lusts of my flesh and the lusts of my eyes.