Introduction: John 3.16. God considered us valuable enough that he gave the life of His Son for us. Why? I don’t know. But He did and does.
I. Demons vs. Jesus
A. Demons wanted to destroy the man and use him to hurt others
1. Vs. 36>>Luke 8.36 δαιμονίζομαι: to be possessed by a demon; to be demon possessed. In a number of languages one cannot speak of a person ‘being possessed by a demon.’ A more appropriate expression may be ‘the person possesses a demon.’ In other instances an idiomatic phrase is employed, ‘the demon rides the person’ or ‘the demon commands the person’ or even ‘the demon is the person.’
2. They caused the man to go naked, to live in a cemetery, to have the strength to break chains, to be violent (attack people) (Matthew 8.28), and to cut himself with stones (Mark 5.5).
3. Demons still exist and are still trying to destroy people
4. They acknowledged Jesus and recognized His authority
B. Jesus’ concern was for the man
1. Jesus didn’t help every person with problems, just those who came to Him, as this man did.
2. He conversed with the man and the demons
3. He drove the demons out
a. Vs.36>>Luke 8.36 Cured: σῴζω: 110 occurrences; AV translates as “save” 93 times, “make whole” nine times, “heal” three times, “be whole” twice, and translated miscellaneously three times. To save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. To save a suffering one from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health. To save in the technical biblical sense.
b. 17 times in Luke; 5 times referring to eternal salvation
c. Luke 19.10
4. The man assumed a position of discipleship vs. 35>>Luke 8.35
5. The man became the 1st missionary to the Gentiles vs. 38-39>>Luke 8.38-39
C. What about the pigs?
1. This is a Gentile area; no pigs on the Jewish side of the lake
2. Demons did not want to be tortured or be sent to the Abyss
3. Demons asked to be sent into the pigs; παρακαλέω: to ask for something earnestly and with propriety; beg
4. Who sent the pigs into the water? Jesus, demons, circumstance
5. What happened to the demons after the pigs drown? Luke 11:24–26 presumes that an expelled spirit will still have the possibility of continuing to work mischief.
6. Did Jesus not care about the value of the pigs and the effect on the local economy?
a. Mark 5.13 says there were 2,000
b. People are more valuable than pigs
C. what about the ethical aspect of the pigs’ destruction? Obviously the good of the man was more important than that of the pigs.
II. Jesus and the local population
A. The 1st mentioned are those tending the pigs
1. βόσκω: to herd animals so as to provide them with adequate pasture and to take care of what other needs may be involved
2. They ran off φεύγω: to move quickly from a point or area in order to avoid presumed danger or difficulty
B. Others came
C. They were afraid vs. 35, 37>>Luke 8. 35, 37
D. They asked Jesus to leave, “go away”
III. Lessons for us
A. Demons are real and in the world today
B. People are more important than anything else in creation
C. The lowly and wretched were the ones attracted to Jesus
1. That is not true in our culture
2. Jesus came to seek the lost; we should too.
3. We should not expect these people to come to us Luke 15
D. Not everyone will be interested in the gospel
1. Apparently the healed man had little success
2. Scripture mentions nothing else about believers in the Decapolis
3. In about 66 AD there was a mass exodus of Christians from Jerusalem. They settled in Pella, one of the Decapolis cities. Then Christianity prospered.
Conclusion: When things are really bad in your life, you might start thinking that God has stopped loving you or is punishing you for sins. It is not true. He always loves us and considers us more valuable than all else in creation.