Summary: When Jesus faces raw evil, He is always victorious and when He has delivered a person He gives purpose to their life.
The Naked Man and the Pigs. Luke 8:26-39
INTRO.: This story is part of Jesus’ great Galilean ministry. He is busy teaching in towns and villages around Galilee. It is a time of great popularity. People are coming to Him from all over the region. At one time, His mother and brothers are unable to reach Him because of the crowds. He is also giving His disciples some intensive teaching about the Kingdom.
Perhaps seeking some respite, He gets in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee into Gentile territory. On the way, He is awakened from a nap by the frightened disciples when a storm comes up and threatens to sink the little fishing boat. He speaks to the wind and calms the sea.
They sail on to the other side of the lake, a Gentile area. If Jesus was seeking a place of peace and quiet where He would not be known, He was disappointed. The minute He stepped out of the boat, He was met with a challenge to His compassion and power. Here the story begins and we see:
I. The awful reality of raw evil: Evil is real, and so are the Devil and his demons. 26-31
A. Here is a man possessed by demons and the evil spirits have a fearsome effect on his life and the life of his community.
1. Living naked among the tombs, he is without shame or self-respect. He was a violent man and completely antisocial.
2. We aren’t as aware of demonic activities today because they are more subtle today than they were when their arch-enemy walked in the flesh. We hesitate to believe in the supernatural and seek to write the Biblical stories off as stories of mental illness, coincidence, or mass hysteria.
3. But some extreme evils defy definition in human terms. People who blow themselves up in order to kill others in hope of gaining Heaven are deceived by demons. Remember Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and ate 15 people? What of those who sexually use infants? Can these ideas arise simply in the minds of men? I think not.
B. The townsfolk had tried to deal with the evil in their own way. The best they knew how.
1. They used physical means such as chains and guards to try to solve a spiritual problem. It was doomed to fail.
2. Matthew says he was so violent no one could pass that way. Matt. 8:28. Mark states no man had the strength to tame him. Mark 5:4
3. Finally, it seems they had accepted the situation, perhaps reasoning, “If we leave him alone he will leave us alone.”
C. Evil fears the Presence of Jesus and His people: 28. The demoniac falls at the feet of Jesus and begins to plead to be left alone.
1. Terrorism and the rise of violent religious cults is the result of the Gospel’s progress throughout the world. Satan will hurl his worst at us to stop this progress.
2. Wherever Satan can, he will destroy Christians and hinder the progress of the Gospel. He does not want people to turn to God.
3. This is why we hear of so much persecution of Christians today. As the Good News sweeps across the world, Satan increases his attacks.
4. This is also why there are such concerted efforts to curtail the activities of Christians in America. As more youth seek Jesus and a spirit of revival spreads, he will try to stop prayer and Bible reading in public places. He will promote the “rights” of those trying to spread the evil.
II. Jesus is more powerful than all the forces of evil: 32-37. I John 4:4 “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
A. The demons recognized the power of Jesus:
1. They called Him, “Son of the Most High God.” 28. The man fell to his knees before Jesus. We are reminded of Phil. 2:10, 11. Every knee shall bow.
2. The demons know He has power to destroy them and plead with Him not to do so. 32.
3. James writes, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder” James 2:19
B. Notice the terrible destructive force of evil. Evil will destroy whatever it can.
1. The demons drove the man to violence so no one wanted to go near him.
2. Then he was driven to try to destroy himself. Mark 5:5 says he cut himself with stones. Yet, he seemed unable to destroy himself. He is tormented by the evil.
3. When unable to destroy others, himself, or Jesus, the demons will at least destroy the pigs.
C. The reaction of the witnesses is of interest: Luke 8:35-37