Things change when Jesus arrives. Always. His presence alters the atmosphere.
Notice what happened when Jesus came into the land of the Gedera, a small town on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He encountered a man who was completely filled with a legion of demons.
Some Demons Get Humbled
Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert (Luke 8:28-29 NASB).
The demons of hell were having a field day in the life of this poor man. Somehow he had opened his life to them and was obviously unprotected from their invasion. The demons were doing what demons do—stealing, killing, and destroying.
This is a perfect picture of demonic activity and can be witnessed right now in your community in the lives of many, whether we want to call it that or not.
Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 that we are never battling merely flesh and blood, but our struggle is “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
But when Christ came, the demons were instantly aware they were in the presence of One who had authority over them. They immediately cowered and begged Him to spare them from going “to the abyss.” They knew they were helpless when the King of kings entered.
We must never forget that the demonic world is powerless in the presence of Jesus.
Some People Get Frightened
The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened…. And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned (Luke 8:35,37).
The people had been living at their own contrived comfort level. They had their lives, and they had their town demoniac, which they were “handling” by chaining him in a tomb outside the city.
Nice plan. Everything was just fine, in their way of thinking. They assumed this was life as it was meant to be.
Jesus changed the status quo. He always does. And they were confronted with the ultimate Authority of the universe.
They were forced to decide if they would submit to the King or cling to their ridiculous but routine lifestyle.
They were forced to decide if they loved their comfort more than they loved people in bondage.
“The people … asked him to leave” is one of the saddest statements in the whole Bible. As far as we know, Jesus never returned to this place, and the people died in their sins.
Some People Get Saved and Set On Mission
But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him (Luke 8:38-39).
We don’t focus much on this man because we are overwhelmed in this story by the demons, the pigs, and the unbelieving crowd. But think of the glory of this man’s life!
This tormented man was released from a thousand demons! Forever set free by Jesus! No longer was he the avoided one, doomed to a life of separation from both God and man. No longer a hotel for the demonic, but a home for the glory of God.
When Jesus shows up, there are always those who will be delivered and redeemed. And when this occurs, they are never again the same. Their life mission is not sought, but cannot be helped—they proclaim “throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done” for them.
Why should we seek the presence of God in all our days and environments and relationships? Why should we live to be filled with the Spirit of God flowing in us and through us?
Why should we pray for a God-invasion in our church, our community, our city, and our nation? Why should we cry out for a mighty spiritual awakening across our land?
It’s because demon-possessed people are being tormented, and Christ can set them free! When this happens, it will upset the status quo with many, and they may seek to drive Jesus (and you) out of the city.
But heaven will rejoice, and the redeemed will never quit talking about what they have seen and heard.