Two Demoniacs Healed
Matthew 8:28-34 – And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. 34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
Mark 5:1-20 – And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Luke 8:26-39 – And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. 38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
The last parable revealed the power of Christ over the natural elements, while this parable gives us comfort in knowing that Christ also has power over demons, the devil and all forces of evil in this world. We should be afraid of nothing, because nothing is greater than God. 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Look at the power of the devils to control and ruin lives.
There are four points to the message:
Introduction: We have been preaching about people coming to Jesus. This message will be concerning Jesus coming to a person everybody would think was “unreachable,” redeeming him and using him to reach a group of people the Jews would think of as “undesirable.”
I. The Place. Some folks believe there are two different occasions mentioned in the above scripture. I don’t know about that, but it seems to me there is only one occasion, because of the many similarities. There has been much made about the word “Gergesenes” in Matthew and the word “Gadarenes” in Mark and Luke.
A. It seems to me that if God had used the same word in all three instances, we would simply locate the place, and go from there. But since there is a different word used in one place, our minds stop and dwell on why.
1. I don’t know all the answers, but I have a notion the two names all speak of the same place. I don’t think it is so important to know there are two different places, as to recognize that Jesus went to a place men cannot figure out where is.
2. Jesus goes to heathen lands to retrieve His people. Men may not know where these places are, but Jesus does. Men may not know God has any people there, but God knows.
3. Are you in a place where men do not know? Rest assured God knows, and He has come in this message to set you free, to bring you home, and to make you a witness to those around you.
B. Christ, and his disciples, go to unclean places because that is where unclean people are, who need Him.
1. Christ goes to the depths of depravity, very dirty places, to retrieve His people.
2. Christ never becomes involved in wickedness, as we should not either.
3. They are “unclean” because they are not the people of God.
4. They are raising hogs, which is an unclean animal to the Jews.
5. God’s intention of coming to this country is to save them all by a very unlikely means.
6. Jesus Christ will take the person most likely not to be used, and use him to lead these Gentiles (most likely) to Christ.
C. Christ goes to places the saved don’t expect, wouldn’t go, and nobody objects.
1. There are some places saved people don’t need to go: bars, brothels, or other sinful places.
2. We should never, however, be afraid of losing our reputation by going to such places to witness: IF God sends us there. Just make sure God sent you!
II. Are you the One? Or the Other? Matthew 8:28 records there were two possessed with many demons.
A. Mark 5:2 states there was a man (one), while Luke 8:27 declares there met Him a man (one man) out of the tombs.
1. There were also two thieves crucified with Christ.
a. Luke records both stories, but we often tell the story of the repentant thief, forgetting about the unrepentant thief.
b. One thief repented, received forgiveness of sin, died and went to heaven.
c. One thief refused to repent (because he did not receive from God eternal grace, and mercy), did not received forgiveness of sins, and died and went into hell.
d. The lesson before us is that we all need the grace of God upon us.
e. Without God touching us, we will not be touched.
f. Without God doing his work in us, there will be no salvation, no relief from the demons who plague us, and no blissful eternity with Jesus.
2. The one that will be used tells us this story.
a. You may be like one of these demon possessed men.
b. Will you be used or not?
c. Will you receive freedom from the demons within you, and never go to be a witness to anybody else of God’s great saving power?
d. Or will you be like the one who not only showed, but also told the great things God had done for and to him?
3. Their life was miserable. They were hindered with things they couldn’t control.
4. Matthew 8:28 – Exceeding fierce – so that no man could come near them.
5. Mark 5:3-5 – Lived in the cemetery – had been bound, but couldn’t be kept – cried always, night and day – such great anguish he cut himself, but found no relief.
6. Luke 8:27 – wore no clothes – went about naked – everybody could see his shame.
a. Does everybody see your shame?
b. Do you want to get rid of your shame and have hope in Christ?
7. Luke 8:29 – When the devils got hold of the man, he was able to break chains – very strong.
8. Luke 8:30 – There was a legion of devils in the man. A legion, according to the Roman military consisted of 4,500-6,000 men, differently skilled in various tasks.
B. Matthew 8:6 – What demons believe.
1. The devils believe there is one God, but they are not saved.
2. Demons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, yet they are not saved.
3. They believe in punishment for sin.
4. They believe there is a set time for punishment.
5. They believe Jesus is the one who will judge and punish them.
6. Mark 5:6 records that demons worship Jesus Christ.
7. Mark 5:10-13 – The demons recognize that Jesus has authority over them.
III. The Owners of the Hogs. Luke 8:33-36 – The owners of the hogs heard their hogs had been killed in a hog stampede, and went to find out exactly what had happened.
A. They came, not because of anything the demon possessed man had done, but for financial reasons.
1. They found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.
2. This made them afraid, and they asked Jesus to leave, which He did.
3. Life changing events often result from strange events
4. God knows how to get our attention.
B. The delivered man asked to go with Jesus, but Jesus refused, and asked him to stay, and tell his friends (Mark 5:19) and show his house (Luke 8:39) what had happened to him. The man obeyed, and when Jesus returned, the people were waiting to hear from Him.
1. When peace comes to the individual, it may be very upsetting to those that didn’t get the peace of Christ.
2. It may take them a little while to get used to the idea.
3. The townspeople asked Christ to leave because they were afraid.
4. They had never seen the “wild man” sitting, clothed and in his right mind before.
5. The word in Luke 8:35 “afraid” means to be exceeding alarmed, to have great reverence. Like John when he saw Jesus and heard great things, fell down and received strength from God. He was immoveable, but God made him moveable. These people were so astonished, they needed to get back to their old ways so they could think.
IV. The work. Christ refuses to let the man follow him, to leave his present situation because there is a greater work for him to do there.
A. This is often a hard thing to realize, because the person recently saved wants to be with Christ, and wants to be out of the evil, or worldly situation they are in.
1. Christ wants them to be a witness in the evil or worldly situation they are in because people can see the difference in their lives, that they wouldn’t be able to see if they simply went away with Christ, and people didn’t see them any more.
2. Mark 5:19 – Tell friends – those not closely acquainted with us must hear with words what Jesus has done for us. They are not as likely to see us everyday.
3. Luke 8:39 – Show house – those closely acquainted with us see us everyday. They are more likely to see the effect of Christ in our lives, than to hear what we say.
A. The result:
1. Jesus came back! There is a second chance for these townspeople!
2. Luke 8:40 – When Jesus returned to Capernaum, they were all waiting for Him.
a. This is the only gospel that relates how the townspeople received Christ when He returned.
b. There is a dispute whether Luke 8:40 is speaking about the Gentiles at Gergesenes, or the Jews.
1.) Mark 5:21 states, And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
2.) Matthew 9:1, Mark 5:21, and Luke 8:40 refer to Christ returning to Capernaum.
c. Matthew 14:34-36, and Mark 6:53-56 refer to Christ returning to Gennesaret and performing many miracles because of the witness of the demon possessed man who was healed.
3. Mark 5:20 declares the people marveled at the words of the delivered man.