"Divine Deliverance" - Jesus' Encounter with a Man and Legion
"For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” - Mark 5:8-9
One of the things that we often miss in this life is that whatever is going on in our physical world has a parallel reality in the spiritual realm. With every encounter of Jesus, there is a confrontation within the powers and principalities in the spiritual realm. There is a battle taking place for the souls of men that hinges upon the power of Christ and whether or not we put our faith in Him.
When Jesus was carrying out His ministry, He unraveled the spiritual world like never before, while exercising full authority over all of creation and especially the spirits that held people captive on this earth. Jesus delivered many different people from various evil spirits, forgave their sins, and showed the multitudes that He was more than just a good man, teacher, or prophet. When Jesus spoke there was an authority that kings and rulers listened to, waves and wind, and even demonic spirits. At His command, everything submitted and acknowledged His divine identity.
Are you aware that Jesus has power over all things whether in the heavens or on the earth? Does this cause you to worry less and to find rest in your souls?
When this tormented man saw Jesus coming, he ran to him and the Legion of demons inside of him caused him to fall down and pay respect to Jesus. This man was tormented day and night and now he was in the presence of the One man who could set him free.
Living in Gentile territory, a Jewish rabbi would never show up in an area like this but this did not stop Jesus who was always moved with compassion for those who were bound up.
When the demons knew they had no power over Jesus, they begged Him to send them into a large herd of swine so that they could remain in that region to continue to try to wreak havoc in that area. Jesus gave them their request but He knew that the swine would run over a cliff and into an abyss. The power and authority of Christ sent unclean spirits into unclean animals and set a man who was completely overtaken by these spiritual entities into the glorious liberty of Christ.
Have you ever stopped to think about what it means to be demonized or brought into subjection to an evil spirit?
We use many diverse categories like demonic possession, oppression, or depression but in reality the word in the Greek that is used throughout the Gospels is "daimonizomai", which means to be "demonized". This word covers any kind of demonic influence or opposition in someone's life that is holding them back from being able to freely operate according to God's design and direction. Regardless of whatever degree a demon or evil spirit has a hold on people's lives, we must remember that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood" (Eph. 6:12) and that our every battle belongs to the Lord.
There are many in and out of the church that are being influenced by evil spirits and they do not even know it. Now of course, this does not mean that the devil is fully possessing a person or making them commit a certain sin. We all must take responsibility for the daily decisions that we make but you better believe that the devil is always right there ready to trip you up or to add insult to injury.
The agenda of the evil one remains to "steal, kill, and destroy" (John 10:10). The devil is roaming this earth like a lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8) and our adversary searches out the weak and isolated and vulnerable among us. This means that we need to make sure we are not ignorant of his devices and give no place for him to work in our lives. Whenever someone is demonized, it is usually because a door was opened that gave the devil access due to a certain practice of sin.
We must remember that not only did Jesus overcome the world and the devil through HIs death and resurrection but He also has power to destroy every attempt of the devil to deceive or destroy our lives. Therefore, we must learn to submit to God, resist the devil, until he flees from us (James 4:6). Jesus has called His church out of darkness and into His marvelous light. When He commissioned His disciples to make disciples, Jesus told them up front that, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" (Matt. 28:18).
Therefore, we are called to go in the power of that great Name! We have the same power of the resurrected Christ to stand our ground against the wiles of the devil and to rebuke or remove any evil spirit that we discern is holding someone in bondage.
- Do you believe that Christ has authority over everything in heaven and on earth?
- What has been the evidence in your own life lately that shows that you are confident in the Lord's authority?
- What might need to be adjusted in light of the fact that "He who is in us is GREATER than he who is in this world" (1 John 4:4)
Think of a time when you were set free by something that had power and control over your life. Then, stop and praise the Lord for His great faithfulness and declare once again that "with God nothing shall be impossible!"