Unchained by love

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Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man

5 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

What are the things creeping into your routine that turn your eyes away from the Lifegiver?

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

I have a question. What strongholds do you have in your life that give the devil a foothold? Sin can enter any place that is out of control and driven by self. Whether it is bad habits, road rage, over-eating, porn, pride, even church, if it takes control of us, setting up barriers to God and His work in the world, we soon become controlled by it! We don’t know how the possessed man became inhabited by so many demons but there had to be some entry point. The only way to reclaim these strongholds is to give God control.

That is all the demon-possessed man could do. He couldn’t even hold a conversation himself. Legion spoke through him. Jesus had to step in and rescue him. I wonder if his eyes told the story. I wonder if Jesus saw fear and wonder there, a wordless plea for help, quickly stifled by the demonic powers at work.

“I could never end up like him,” you say to yourself. Maybe not overtly but what is the devil doing covertly in your life? What are the things creeping into your routine that turn your eyes away from the Lifegiver? I believe the pigs being destroyed was a physical manifestation of what the devil would like to do to all of us—ultimately, throw us off a cliff and destroy us.

Sometimes we are more valuable to the devil alive, as sowers of strife and discord. The more we allow the devil’s control in our lives, the more we are unfit for human company, to live in the tombs. Only Jesus can break the spiritual chains that bind us. And when He does, what a release, what a relief. Jesus can take our mess and cast it into the depths of the ocean.

Is there a burden in your life today? A worry, a guilt, a secret fear? Don’t let it be a foothold for the devil. Go to Jesus and He can cast it out.

All He asks for in return, is that you “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”   

Now there’s something to live for!