We continue in this article in our series on the Gospel of Luke from Luke 8:26-39. And if you'll remember we are looking at these four miracle stories, which show Jesus reaching out to Gentiles, either in Galilee or even in even more Gentile territory across the river. It's a picture of His great commission outreach, not just to Jews but to Gentiles also.

Last week we said the focus was on the power and the person of Jesus Christ. And guess what this week's focus is on? The power and the person of Jesus Christ. And repeatedly, these miracles will focus us in on "Who is Jesus?" and "What do His deeds tell us about what He has come to do and the power that He has?" And so this passage helps us in this way.

This passage is fundamentally about Jesus. He is the dividing line here. It's His person and His power that we're having our attention draw to and there are four things in particular that I want you to see in this passage.

I. A Person In The Thrall Of Sin

The first thing I want you to see is this picture of a person in the thrall of sin. It's this man who is in bondage to these demons. It's interesting isn't it - Jesus crosses the river, the lake, and no sooner has He set His foot on the other side but this man shows up to meet Him. Jesus does not go looking for this demon-possessed man, the man comes to Him.

The demons are aware that He is there and they are frightened. And so this man comes to Jesus, he seeks Him out, and Jesus says to him, "What is your name?" Legion, indicates that he is possessed by a host of demons. This man effectively says, "I do not know my name. I am but a man possessed by an innumerable host of demons. That is all I know." There is a message in this for all of us and it is simply this - we may not be possessed by demons, but if we are possessed by what we want or by what we have and if what we want or what we have is not God in the Gospel of His dear Son, Jesus Christ, then we are no less in the thrall of sin than this man.

What do you love? What do you want? What do you have that you're captive to, that you're enslaved to? Yes, this man is extraordinary. It's not every day that you meet someone inhabited by a host of demons, but every time you meet a Christ-less soul, you meet someone who is utterly captive to sin. And they are no more capable of liberating themselves than this man was capable of liberating himself from this host of demons.

II. The Power Of The Lord Jesus Christ Over Satan

But here's the second thing. We see the power of Christ over Satan, don't we? Jesus comes to shore and it's obvious that He has immediately commanded the spirits to leave the man because they remonstrate with Him. "What have You to do with me, Jesus, the Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me." They know that Jesus can cast them into the abyss, into the lake of fire, into the bowels of hell, and they're frightened. And so they begin crying out, "Don't cast us into the abyss."

Luke is telling you here that Jesus is sovereign over everything. There is no captivity that you can be captive to that is not captive to Jesus Christ for He has ascended on high and led captivity captive and He makes a sport and a spoil of the forces of darkness which are arrayed against God and against heaven. He is utterly sovereign. There's nothing that they can do to restrain His mighty arm.

III. The Heart Set Free From Sin By Jesus

When this passage begins, we have a man who is possessed by demons who had gone about naked, who had lived in the tombs, who was out of his mind, and who did not even know his name. And at the end of the passage, look how he is described, twice he is described this way - look at verse 35, "the man from whom the demons had gone out" and then again "the man from whom the demons had gone" and then in verse 38, "the man from whom the demons had gone." When Jesus had asked him, "What's your name?" The first time he had answered, "I'm the man possessed by a countless host of demons." Now, he's the man from whom those demons have gone out. "I'm the man who Jesus saved by casting out the demons from me."

He had a new name and he had a new nature to go along with it. He was no longer naked and he was no longer babbling and he was no longer living amongst the tombs, but when they came, he was clothed and in his right mind and sitting at the Savior's feet.

And the thing that I love the most is the utter contrast in his attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at what he first says when Jesus meets him in verse 28 - "What do you have to do with me, Jesus? I beg You, do not torment me." Then, if you look in verse 38, he begs Jesus that he might be with him. There's a total change of nature in this man. He's converted. He's set free. He's liberated. He's no longer under the domination of demons or his own sin. He's been set free by Jesus.

IV. The Hard Hearts Of Those Who Reject Jesus

But the sad thing I want you to see at the end is the reaction of the majority of his countrymen, because unlike him, they do not beg to be with Jesus. In fact, they beg Jesus to leave. And you know what the most frightening thing of all is? He does. Why? Because they cared more about what they had lost than what that man had gained or what they could gain in Jesus themselves.

John Oxenham wrote a poem about this passage. It goes like this: These are the people of Gerasene speaking to Jesus - "Rabbi be gone. Thy powers bring loss to us and ours. Our ways are not as Thine. Thou lovest men, we love swine. Oh get you hence, Omnipotence, and take this foul of Thine. His soul, what care we for his soul? What good to us that Thou hast made him whole, since we have lost our swine?" Is that not a picture of people that love what they have or what they want more than they love the One who loves their souls?

This story is a technicolor picture of Luke 8:18, and my friends, there don't have to be demons around for us to be facing the same challenge. Are we with a man, liberated, who trusted Jesus, who begged to be with Jesus and sought to be a disciple at His feet? Or are we with those who love what we want and what we have more than we love the Word of life from the only One who can give life? We're in the same story, my friends. We're in the same story.

May God grant us the liberation through Jesus Christ to become what that nameless man became.