#DailyDevotion Do You Have A Few Demons To Be Rid Of?
Luk 8:26-33 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. (27) 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. (28) 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.” (29) 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.) (30) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. (31) And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. (32) 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. (33) 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.
This is kind of an unusual situation for Jesus. Not that he’s commanding a demon to come out of a man nor that the demon tries to get power over Jesus by calling him by name but that a. Jesus doesn’t command the demon to stop speaking and b. he’s not in a Jewish audience when doing so. Usually when a demon tries to identify Jesus, Jesus commands him to be silent. This is probably to make the demon know he has no power over Jesus (God doesn’t work that way) and because he does not want the witness of someone that is known for lying. But in Gentile territory things are different. We see that with the woman at the well where Jesus outright affirms he is the Messiah and now here in this place.
But as Christians, thanks be to God, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. They cannot posses us. In our baptism, the Holy Spirit cast out any demons we may have had and has Himself taken up residence in us, renewing our hearts, minds, spirits, indeed even giving us birth from above. Never the less we may still fall under demonic attacks. They don’t look like anything on a horror show. Instead they tempt us to enslave us to sinful habits in hopes of dragging us away from God and giving up in his mercy, kindness and love toward us. So we may be tempted to go ahead and stuff ourselves with food instead of turning to God for help and our fellow human beings for emotional support. We may be tempted to turn to sex, pornography or alcohol instead of trusting God to provide us what our hearts are truly desiring, which is God. We may go shopping and in particular over spend because we are trying to fill a hole, a void in our soul which turning to Jesus in prayer would fill. The demonic may tempt us to not have mercy on someone and forgive them because, well, they don’t deserve to be forgiven or had mercy upon (and well they don’t but it is the nature of God to have mercy and forgive the undeserving). Such are the attacks of the demonic on the human mind and soul, to turn the human mind and heart to anything but God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ.
When and if we follow the demonic lead we may find ourselves enslaved to all sorts of sin, even a legion of it, just like this poor soul on the edge of the sea. The good news is Jesus frees us from our sin. He frees us from its bondage through the free gift of the forgiveness of sins. Like the demon-possessed man we confess name our sin, our demons to our heavenly Father. We hear the good news Jesus has redeemed us and we rest at Jesus’ feet and tell others what Jesus has done for us. If it continues then we continue to confess to our pastor or fellow Christian and we receive the forgiveness, which undeserved, we so greatly need, trusting in the kindness, mercy and love of God in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, you son Jesus Christ cast out the demons of many afflicted people. Cast out from us all sins that enslave and hurt our souls and give us your Holy Spirit that we may always rest our souls in Jesus and his great sacrifice for us, showing us the mercy, kindness and love you have for all people in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.