Summary: There is no sin that is too big for God’s forgiveness.
The story of the Geresene Demoniac.
This story gives me chills.
There is so much meaning beyond the words written on the page.
There are so many questions to be asked.
Jesus enters a town that is obviously not filled with Jews.
The first question to be asked is, Are they Gentiles or Heathens.
We know they are not Jews because they were raising pigs, an animal which was unclean.
Even the first line of this pericope, or short story, is filled with meaning.
They arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
What does our text mean by opposite?
Galilee was a region filled with religious Jews.
Gerasene was not.
It was the opposite of a God fearing land.
Now we picture Jesus, stepping out of his boat as he encounters this new territory, being met by a naked man who is totally out of his mind, and who’s home was in the tombs.
This man, and the demons inside of him recognized Jesus as the son of the most High God and knew of Jesus’ power.
In fact, the man fell down before Jesus.
He put himself beneath Jesus.
He showed respect for Jesus.
He begged Jesus not to torment him.
Why would he think Jesus would torment him?
Jesus was known for teaching, healing, and loving.
Jesus begins a conversation with him, asking, “What is your name?”
He responds, Legion, for he had many demons possessing him.
The demons begged Jesus not to be sent to the abyss.
In fact, they beg Jesus not to be sent back to the abyss.
They knew where they came from.
They knew what it was like there.
It was an empty pit of nothingness.
Total separation from God.
Anything would be better than the abyss.
And so they begged Jesus to be sent into a herd of swine.
And Jesus has compassion even on the demons.
Jesus has compassion, even on the demons.
What a gracious God we serve.
If anyone is ever feeling like they don’t deserve God’s grace, God’s love,
God’s forgiveness, God’s understanding, God’s mercy, God’s healing, read this scripture.
And make the point that Jesus even had compassion for demons.
His love is greater than any of us could imagine.
I love this next part.
Jesus responds to the demons’ request.
Instead of sending them to the abyss, he grants them permission to enter a heard of swine grazing on a hillside.
The pigs rush down the steep bank into the lake and drown.
Now friends, let me tell you.
Absolutely cannot read this passage without seeing baptism as great as the greatest mystery of the God we worship.
The irony of a legion of demons entering unclean animals and entering a large body of water.
Were they cleansed there?
Was this symbolic of Jesus even giving them a chance to be baptized by submersion?
Water is symbolic of cleansing everywhere in the Bible.
We cannot discount the possibility of this symbolism in this story.
Does that mean that every fallen sinner has a chance to be renewed?
Does that mean even Adolf Hitler had a chance at being redeemed?