“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” Luke 8:38-39
God Wins – Again, or… What’s the fruit of obedience?
When Jesus is about to leave and sail back to Capernaum with His still-in-the-boat disciples, this rescued and restored ex-demoniac wants to get into the boat with Him. Who can blame him from wanting to be attached to Jesus’ side? While Jesus’ response may initially seem harsh, Jesus has a purpose for this newly rescued and restored person. He gives him a task: return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you (8:39). Notice how Luke then records it: so he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. To this newly freed person, Jesus is God.
“When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them,because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.” Luke 8:34-37
Plan A and Plan B
What’s going on here? Well, the Adversary has not given up yet! If his frontal assault with “The Perfect Storm”, as they crossed the Sea, wasn’t successful in keeping Jesus out of his territory, he has a backup plan. If he can wreck a major piece of the local agrarian economy, and make it appear as if jesus is the reason for this “disastrous” outcome, maybe the people will force Him to leave. And that is exactly what happens. Rather than being overjoyed that a demoniac has been freed in what was an off-the-charts Richter scale of exorcism miracles, the town’ people are angry with Jesus over the loss of their boars. Can it be that boars are more valued than a miraculously rescued human being.
“Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lakeand was drowned.” Luke 8:30-33
The “fight” for his soul doesn’t take long. The demons know they are out of their league with Jesus. They know exactly who He is: Yeshua, the Lord’s Rescuer. So they try to “cut a deal” and plead with Jesus not to command them to go away into the abyss (8:31). Rather, permit us to enter those boars on the hillside (swine is a word that Western translators have used to help us relate to this scene). Jesus consents to their request. As a result, 2,000 boars run straight down to the edge of the sea and drown. What’s amazing about this is that everyone in this culture knows that boars are good swimmers.
“They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at His feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.” Luke 8:26-29
To the “other side” on a rescue mission…
When Jesus chose to sail to the region of the Gerasenes the others in the boat might have been wondering, “Why are we heading towards THIS?” An area Jewish people avoided for many reasons. Observant Jews have a few ritual purity No-No’s facing them here:
- they are forbidden to set foot on Gentile soil (Acts 10:28)
- they are prohibited from viewing a naked man and,
- futhermore, have issues with tombs.
But Jesus demonstrated His love by getting out of the boat.
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Matthew 23:12-13
The bible makes it clear that we need to be dispensers of grace and be teachable.
- Galatians 5:25,26 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
- Proverbs 19:11: “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
- Proverbs 23:23: “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”
So How Teachable Am I?
- I am willing to listen more than talk.
- I admit when I am mistaken.
- I observe before acting on a situation.
- I am able to agree to disagree.
- I desire information more than answers.
- I enjoy asking questions.
- I am open to suggestions and new ideas.
- I feel comfortable asking for advice or direction.
- I am patient and a willing “Student”.
- I enjoy reading for information that is practical and applicable.
- I can appreciate criticism without being deeply wounded.
“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God, Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” Psalm 143:10
THIS IS THE HEART OF SOMEONE WHO IS TEACHABLE!
Who teaches us?
God promises He will – Jer 33:3: Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. God will teach us through the Holy Spirit and through His word.
We learn from ourselves through our own mistakes and success.
God will use negative and positive circumstances to teach us if we are willing.
Mature Christians can teach us.
“Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.” Psalms 25:4-5
“If you’re green you’re growing. If you’re ripe, you’re rotting” — Ray Kroc
The key to success in life and in your profession has to do with the attitude you have toward learning from others. To grow, we have to LEARN to LEARN!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Spiritual Power is the ability to accomplish God’s work or His will. It can be represented by the formula ==> Movement + Direction = Accomplishment.