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?
Does that mean even Timothy McVey could be forgiven by God?
You can draw your own conclusion.
But mine is a most absolutely, definite affirmative.
The God whom I serve is greater than any sin.
The Jesus that died on the cross died for all our sins.
Not just the occasional white lie.
But for every sin.
And our scripture from last week proved that point.
The woman who had unclean spirits who wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair was forgiven of many sins, and loved Jesus even more than the righteous Pharisees.
I have to pause here.
This is almost too much for us to handle.
A God so big and so mighty, that there is no sin that cannot be forgiven.
But you see, even the demons asked Jesus.
Jesus cannot grant our requests if we don’t ask.
There is a prerequisite for forgiveness.
That prerequisite is asking.
You see, in the abyss, the demons could not ask.
In the abyss, there is no relationship.
IN the abyss, there is total isolation.
In the abyss, there is total separation from God.
I’m sure most of you know at least one person who has chosen to stay away from church.
I’m sure most of you know at least one person who is so angry at God, that they cannot even pray, or even worse, they deny God’s existence.
They choose to spend their life drowning in their sorrows, in misery, instead of asking God to be set free from the pain of their misery.