UN/Broken - Day 16

Through the gospels, Jesus regularly encounters demons that have possessed human beings. Let’s look briefly at one of these stories that shares elements with most of the others involving Jesus and demons.

The story is found in Luke 8, where we’re told that Jesus and the disciples had landed on the shores of what is called the region of the Gerasenes, located on the other side of the Sea of Galilee from where they usually traveled.  As they climbed out of the boat, they were met by a man“possessed by demons.” The man had been living in this area, homeless and naked for a long time, and filled with not just one demon but many.  The townspeople had tried to handle things themselves, but every one of their attempts failed. Every time the people tried to subdue the man, he broke free, lashed out at them, and ran.  

Though the people were powerless to protect themselves from this demon-possessed man, Jesus was not.  Jesus and the disciples land, get out of their boats, and are immediately confronted by this naked, homeless, demon-possessed man.

Luke writes, “As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, ‘Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” (Luke 8: 28, NLT)

At least two notes we can point out from this one verse that is common when Jesus encountered demons.

One - the demons fell in front of Jesus, a position of worship.  They knew who Jesus was, even when the people didn’t, and they had to act accordingly.  This is always how the demons encountered Jesus, with worship first.  To the point where Jesus would silence them because he didn’t want the people to learn from the demons who he was (see Mark 1: 21-28).

Two - the demons try to paint a picture of God as torture when, in reality, the demons were torturing the man.  The demons will always try to throw shade on the character of God, using lies for they come from the father of lies (John 8:44).

As the story continues, the demons beg Jesus to be thrown not into the “bottomless pit” but into a herd of pigs.  Though the reasoning and meaning of some of these things are immediately apparent, what is clear is that the demons know that they have to do whatever Jesus says - that is never in question.  Jesus permits them, and off they go.

In fact, in every encounter Jesus has with a demon, Jesus wins.  And Jesus gave the disciples authority to cast out demons (Mark 3: 15).  How?  By using the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17).

Though we’ll look more tomorrow at Jesus, demons, and mental health specifically, it’s important to note that when Jesus is in the same room with a demon, it’s clear who has the power and who is in control.  There is never a doubt or question.  The spiritual realm knows who is more extensive, though the devils will try to convince you otherwise.

When counseling someone who fears the devil, one verse I often point them to, in addition to Jesus’ encounters with demons in the gospels, is the book of Revelation.

In context, after Jesus has rescued us from the earth, the devil’s reign finally ends.  Then, we read about an angel who came down from heaven with a heavy chain in his hand.  It goes on to say that the angel “seized the dragon-that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan - and bound him in chains for a thousand years.”

Did you notice how many angels it took to bind the enemy of God?  Just one.  One angel of God binds up the devil that so many have been so afraid of for so long.

So when it comes to Jesus and demons, Jesus is bigger, and Jesus always wins.  So when you feel attacked, claim the name of Jesus.  When it seems like the darkness is closing in on you or your family, rebuke it in the mighty name of Jesus and claim the victory Jesus won over sin and death.  As the adage goes, it only takes one candle, even a small one, lit in a dark room to push back the darkness.  So light that candle and watch the darkness run.

  • Have you ever been afraid of the devil?  If so, when and why?
  • What is one way, one reminder, one action that you could live or take with you today to remind yourself that Jesus is bigger than any darkness you may face?
  • Pray this simple prayer today: “I pray for protection today in the name of Jesus.  Protection from the forces of darkness.  And I rebuke the devil and his influences over me and my loved ones, in the name of Jesus and by the blood He shed for me on Calvary.  I receive His victory both now and forevermore. Amen”

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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