Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. Luke 8:26-33
We are a little too sophisticated to believe in demon possession today. And it is true that many illnesses once thought of as being possessed have medical explanations and can be controlled by therapy and drugs but we discount Satan and his minions at our own peril. Today we either see them as cartoon characters, think of the devil with a red suit, pitchfork, horn and a pointy tail, or something in a horror movie.
It would be great if that were true as either could be readily recognized and avoided. The bible describes Satan as wily and cunning. He is the great deceiver. He was one of God’s greatest angels and the most beautiful, Lucifer means bringing light or morning star. Satan and his demons are not here to scare us but to seduce us. He is the father of lies. Satan will lie to us just as he did Adam and Eve. His lies will have just enough truth in them to make them sound plausible and inviting. A great look at how they act is in the fictional work by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.
The good news is that even as Satan and his demons try to trick and deceive us they are still under God’s authority. We see this in the book of Job and in today’s verses. When Jesus asked their name they had to answer and the answer tells us that this man was possessed by about 5,400 demons or the same number that makes up a Roman legion. Jesus could have sent these demons to the abyss that place God created for Satan and his followers, also known as the fiery pit or hell. Instead He sent them into a herd of pigs. These pigs promptly rushed head long into the water and drowned.
When we are fighting Satan and his demons we always need to remember that while they may frighten us and try to trick us it is Jesus who is in control. All we need do is lean on the rock that is Jesus and nothing Satan can do will destroy us.
Have a blessed day,