A Man with Demons in Him
26 Jesus and his disciples sailed across Lake Galilee and came to shore near the town of Gerasa. 27 As Jesus was getting out of the boat, he was met by a man from that town. The man had demons in him. He had gone naked for a long time and no longer lived in a house, but in the graveyard.
28 The man saw Jesus and screamed. He knelt down in front of him and shouted, “Jesus, Son of God in heaven, what do you want with me? I beg you not to torture me!” 29 He said this because Jesus had already told the evil spirit to go out of him.
The man had often been attacked by the demon. And even though he had been bound with chains and leg irons and kept under guard, he smashed whatever bound him. Then the demon would force him out into lonely places.
30 Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”
He answered, “My name is Lots.” He said this because there were ‘lots’ of demons in him. 31 They begged Jesus not to send them to the deep pit, where they would be punished.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and Jesus let them go. 33 Then the demons left the man and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34 When the men taking care of the pigs saw this, they ran to spread the news in the town and on the farms. 35 The people went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they also found the man. The demons had gone out of him, and he was sitting there at the feet of Jesus. He had clothes on and was in his right mind. But the people were terrified.
36 Then all who had seen the man healed told about it. 37 Everyone from around Gerasa begged Jesus to leave, because they were so frightened.
When Jesus got into the boat to start back, 38 the man who had been healed begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him off and said, 39 “Go back home and tell everyone how much God has done for you.” The man then went all over town, telling everything that Jesus had done for him.
This man’s life is a mess. He no longer lives in a house, but roams a graveyard naked. His life is full of demons. They wouldn’t leave him alone, and couldn’t be held. It took him to lonely places. He was even frightened of being released from all these things that held him back.
Yet when the demons had gone, he was able to sit at Jesus’ feet, perfectly calm and attentive. Though seeing the power of Jesus terrified his neighbours…
However we might understand these demons today, we are all acutely aware of things in life that have the potential to overwhelm us. Things that hold us back, won’t allow us any peace and take us to very lonely places. Things that may have overwhelmed us for years. But the time comes, when Jesus arrives and wants to lay our demons to rest.
When Jesus comes, do we beg him not to touch us, not to upset the balance of our lives – even if it is awful? Or do we allow him to take our demons from us, to free us and bring us peace? However uncomfortable our demons, they are our demons, and we may prefer the familiarity of them than the risk of being left without them. But that is not the way of freedom and peace. It may be frightening
Are we willing to stop fighting our demons, and let Jesus bring us peace. For that is what he longs to do. He comes not to torture us, but to free us. Will we let him.
I come to you,
just as I am.
With all the things that hold me down,
keep me wandering,
make me lonely.
that sometimes it seems easier,
to stay as I am,
to hold on to what I know.
But what I need
in and through you.
So I come today,
and ask you to work in me,
that I may be
all that you mean me to be.
Do in me
all that you long to do,
that I may be free,
in and through you