We are not always able to determine demonic oppression in an individual. In our modern society we would probably desire an individual be sent to a Psychologist, or Psychiatrist, prior to acknowledging that the possibility exists that they may very well be experiencing demonic oppression, or even possession. We have come a long way, but some of the problems in this area remain just that, problems!
There was no question in the minds and hearts of the people of Gerasenes, as to the origin of this man that met Jesus. He had not put on clothing for a long time; nor had he lived in a house, but in the tombs. When they endeavored to chain and shackle him, he broke the chains and shackles. So violent was he that he was described as being “driven by the demon into the desert.” When Jesus asked him his name, he replied: “Legion”; an explanation follows: “for many demons had entered him.”
Further explanation of the event in Luke 8, illustrates how the demons knew the power of Jesus with simply His presence. They also knew their ultimate demise and destination, the “abyss”, or hell itself. The devil, and or demons, knew of their ultimate fate; yet they sought to delay it by entering the swine – their wish was granted.
Naturally this attracted much attention. So much so, that numerous people wanted to confirm the end result: “they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; they became frightened.” (v35)
When I heard stories from the older folk of bygone years, “frightened” was a natural reaction. In a modern concept we might say: “they were shook to the core.” Tell it in whatever idiom you prefer, but when Jesus Christ enters the picture, in any person’s life, the transition is dramatic.
The simplicity of the Savior’s attention to the entire matter is as dramatic as the actual miracle: “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” (v39) Examined closely, you see Christ claiming what and who He was in actuality… God Incarnate!
A closing thought! His instruction was to “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” That man was not to be restricted; he went to the “whole city”. I can understand his action and that of any individual who experiences the healing power of GOD! Whether physical or spiritual healing, let us speak clearly and consistently “What God hath wrought!”