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Gospel according to Luke 8: 26-39 (NIV)
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.
All three Synoptic Gospels record this encounter with the demon-possessed man (or men) immediately after Jesus with his disciples crossed stormy Lake Galilee. His disciples had feared for their lives as the wind and waves threatened to swamp their boat. Jesus commanded and the storm was stilled.
Stepping ashore, Jesus and his disciples encountered a different kind of “storm”. Many demons had gone into the man who met them there. Just as the winds and the waves must obey Jesus, so too the spirits of evil fall under his authority. He calmed the internal storm that had battered this man and driven him from human society.
We can liken some turbulent events across the world to the worst of storms. The safety and even the lives of our fellow human beings are being threatened. Jesus has authority to still such storms. Jesus has authority to cast out such “demons”.
Let us intensify our prayer for those who love Jesus and strive to be obedient to him, especially throughout the storms they encounter. Let us pray for the casting out of the “demons” and for the establishment of just and compassionate societies mirroring that which is promised when God’s kingdom comes.