Thursday, May 5, 2016

Luke 8:30-33

Luke 8:30-33
And Jesus inquired of him while saying, “What is your name?”  And he said, “Legion.”  This is because many demons entered into him.  And they called out to Him in order that He should not command them to depart into the Abyss.  And there was a sufficient herd of swine while being fed on the mountain.  And they called out to Him in order that He should permit them to go into them.  And after the demons departed out from the man they went into the swine.  And the herd ran impetuously along the steep precipice into the lake and they drowned.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus isn’t afraid to converse with this demon-possessed man.  To be fair, it might be more appropriate to say that Jesus wasn’t afraid to talk to the demons themselves.  Remember, of course, that He is the Son of God.  However, Jesus knows that they cannot withstand the truth.  God’s truth brings all things into the light for judgment.  Therefore, Jesus asks them to identify themselves.  Fundamentally, what we see in this passage is that God will reveal truth even out of the darkest places.  There is no place that God cannot go into and shine His truth.

Does this passage fill you with any awe?  Does this passage inspire you?  How does this passage put the power of God on display?

Second Thought:

Furthermore, look at the numbers.  At first, this looks like a one-on-one encounter.  It appears to be Jesus and the insane man.  But soon we realize that this is one-on-many.  There is a legion of demons in the man.  While we probably shouldn’t take this literally because Luke himself says “many” and not the exact count of 600 that made up an official legion of men, we can certainly say that this does mean a very significant number.  But Jesus is not afraid.  One-on-many is not the end of the world when God’s truth is on your side.  One-on-many is not too big of odds for God.  God does not know fear.  God casts out all fear.  We see that in the life of Jesus all over the place, especially here.

Have you ever been afraid because of the odds?  How does our fear often show our inability to focus on God, trust in His power, and listen to His calling?

Third Thought:

The demons don’t really even put up much of a fight once the battle actually begins.  They plead with Jesus to command them into the pigs rather than into the Abyss.  There are many really neat dynamics to this part of the story.  Jesus shows compassion to the demons and grants them their request.  God’s enemies are not outside the reach of His love; He proved that by redeeming us.  Second, the swine immediately rush into the lake to die.  Sometimes this is portrayed as the demons driving the pigs to their death.  If that is true, it shows the destructive nature of demons.  Even after being shown compassion, they still seek to destroy God’s creation.  However, in Luke this passage reads as though he swine run themselves into the lake to die.  If this is the case, then nature knows that it would rather cease to exist than feel the corruptive influence of demonic presence.  In any case, the demons and pigs grant us a plethora of learning and thoughts to ponder.

Are you ever surprised by God’s compassion?  Are you ever surprised by the destructive influence of demonic presences?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 8:34-36
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