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A Legion of Witness

John Collins03/27/2012
Luke 8 describes how Jesus sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite of Galilee.  It was a country of Gentiles that was culturally more Greek than Semitic, and describes a herd of pigs which were unclean to the Jews.

There was a man living there who had been naked for a long time, living in the tombs of the dead instead of the houses with the others of the city.  He was well known in the city, and had been bound in chains and shackles under guard many times.  Each time he was captured, the man would break the bonds and be drivin to the desert among the tombs by the demon that were in him.

When the man saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him.  With a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High?"  Though there is no history of the man ever coming in contact with Jesus, the demons within him recognized who Jesus was.  They immediately knew that Jesus was the Son of God.

Jesus asked the poor man what his name was, and the man replied "Legion," which was the name of the basic military unit of the great Roman army.  He was called that because he had many demons inside of him.

The demons begged Jesus not to command them to depart the man and leave him for the abyss, for they knew that at His commandment they would be forced into darkness.  Instead, the begged Jesus to command them to leave the man and enter the herd of pigs on the hillside.

Jesus did not make war with the demons, though he could have called ten thousand angels to come and destroy them.  By simply speaking, he could have cast them into the darkness forever.  He did not take anger against the demons.  He gave them permission to enter the herd of pigs.  They immediately left the man and entered the pigs, which then rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.

Herdsmen of the pigs were standing by to witness this great event, and they fled to the city and started telling it throughout the city and the country.  The people came to see what had happened, and they saw the man once possessed with demons fully clothed, in his right mind, and walking with the arm of Jesus around him.  Those that seen it went back to the surrounding country and told them how the demon possessed-man had been healed.  

Jesus had been there for some time.  From the time the man was healed, the herdsmen spread the news throughout the country, several came to witness the event, and then they spread their news throughout the country.  Still, they were filled with fear of this Son of God who could speak and demons would flee.

Jesus got into his boat, and the man who was healed begged Jesus to come with Him.  Jesus told the man to return to his home and declare how much God had done for him.  The man returned, and was a mighty witness for God.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  If we saw a naked man, would we turn our eyes and walk away, or would we try to help the man?  If we saw a man who was troubled in his mind, would we try to find help for him, or would we let him live his life in torment?  Would we shackle him, or pray for him?  Would we try to keep it secret from others who would pray with us?  Do we think that Jesus would not have compassion for them, when Jesus showed compassion for the demons themselves?  If we had such a terribly embarrassing problem and were healed, would we keep silent about it, or would we declare the Power of God for healing us?  Would we be a witness for Christ?

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