Luke 8:26-39 (ESV)
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. 34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Jesus and his disciples sailed to Gentile territory, and after they stepped out on land, they were met by a demon-possessed man. This man was living in hideous conditions because of his demon possession. In verse 27, the word for “demon” is plural, so he was actually possessed by more than one, even many demons. He didn’t wear clothes, and he didn’t live in the city with others, but he lived in the tombs alone. He had been bound in the past, but his demonic strength allowed him to break the chains (v. 29). What a tormented, desperate, and lonely life this man lived. When the man saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him. This falling down was not in worship, but in recognition and acknowledgement of his authority. The man spoke, yet it wasn’t actually the man who conversed with Jesus. It was one of the demons in him. Jesus asked the representative demon what his name was. He called himself “Legion,” and said there were many of them in this man. The demons then begged Jesus to allow them to relocate from the man to a nearby herd of pigs. Jesus agreed, and the entire herd drowned. Those who witnessed the event told others, and they all asked Jesus to leave. They were afraid of Jesus. But the man who was previously possessed and now in his right mind, even clothed, asked to go with Jesus. Instead, Jesus asked him to go back home and tell others about what God had done for him.
It is strange to think about demons falling down before Jesus. They know whom he is, and they must show him the respect he is due, yet at the same time, they are at war with him. They know their time is limited, and they ask him not to torment them. What a bizarre picture! The demons went with Satan, who wanted to be like God, and they were doomed as a result. They were never offered redemption after their rebellion. We have no idea of how incredibly gracious God’s offer of eternal life is to fallen man. He could have been through with us the moment we disobeyed and be totally fair in doing so. If you are a follower of Jesus, then fall down before him today, because of his authority, but also in worship. If you are in Christ, you are a friend of God. Unbelievable!