Summary: BIG IDEA: A man who lost his life to demonic possession lives again because Jesus delivers him.
Series Overview: Stories from the Bible that deal with the Supernatural. The stories featured in this series are marked by people who moved from death to life...some in the spiritual sense, while others did so literally. Can the dead really live again??? The Bible seems to tell some stories that say that it is not only possible…but they seem beyond any earthly explanation. The only explanation would have to be supernatural!
Here are the stories we will examine over the next four weeks:
Week 1 – Demoniac – he was physically alive, but he was spiritually dead
Week 2 – Eutychus – dies and comes back to life
Week 3 – Dry Bones Live – can dead, dry bones come back to live again?
Week 4 – The Resurrection – Jesus not only lives again, but there are other lesser-known supernatural events surrounding the crucifixion & resurrection
I think the reason that people are drawn to the idea of the supernatural is that despite all of our wisdom, despite all we have learned from science, and the fact that we are capable of so many things…
There are still mysteries in this world. Things that are unexplainable.
People like to tell these stories, and often times, create stories of terror based on the fear that surround stories about the unknown and the unexplainable.
In the stories that we will examine in this series, we will discover that not only is there life after death, but that there really is no comparison to the kind of life that we find in Jesus.
CONTEXT: The story we will look at today comes on the heels of Jesus teaching a crowd by the shore, and then telling the disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.
- Jesus steers them directly into a storm
- Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat
- They wake Him
- He says, “Peace be still” and the wind and waves calm
- Jesus says, “What’s your deal??? Why are you afraid?? Don’t you know that I’m here with you…in the boat??”
- Disciples: “Dude…even the wind and the waves obey this guy!”
- AFTER THIS…they arrive safely on the other side of the lake, to meet another challenge…
1So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him.
- Probably NOT a friendly greeting…
- NOT “Oh, hey Jesus…welcome to Grave-ville! Come on in…”
- Jesus response was not alarm (we will see His response in a minute)
3This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
- Lived in caves…BURIAL caves!
- This dude LIVED among the graves!!!
- They had TRIED to restrain him!
- He was too powerful…(probably not from working out)
- Couldn’t be restrained…even with chains & shackles!
- DAY & NIGHT…he wandered the caves and hills “HOWLING” and cutting himself!
- IMAGINE with me…you go to visit the gravesite of a relative…
- Flowers in your hand…sad memories rolling through your mind…
- THEN…You run into THIS dude!
I. The REACH of Jesus
What I love about this story…
- Jesus went to him
- Jesus crossed boundaries: geographical, ethnic, and religious
o Geographical (crossed a lake…THROUGH a storm)
• Remember the “WHY?” question??
• WHY through the storm, Jesus??? Didn’t you see this coming??
• Jesus DID see this coming…Jesus SPOKE to the storm!
• Jesus journeyed THROUGH the storm…WITH his closest friends…to a troubled man!
o Gentile region
o Ethnic & religious differences (unclean people)
• Unclean, everything - the spirits, the tombs, the pigs, the territory
- Worst of the worst
WHY would Jesus go there????
- The same reason that God calls you and I….
- To reach THE ONE!!!
- The demoniac’s life lacked meaning:
o Identity stolen
o Replaced by something he can’t understand or control or overcome.
o Ostracized and segregated.
Oh…Jesus…why am I going through this storm???
- MAYBE…God has someone on the OTHER SIDE of that storm He wants YOU to reach!
- YES…God cares about you
- BUT…maybe what He is building INTO you RIGHT NOW is something that He is planning on using THROUGH you in the near future!
The story continues…
6When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. 7With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 8For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”