Key Verse: “Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.”
THE SCENE DESCRIBED IN our Key Verse is the aftermath of Jesus’ casting demons out of a man into a herd of swine. (Luke 8:27-35) The swine immediately ran down a steep slope, plunged into a lake, and drowned. At the report of the herdsmen, the people of the town came to see what had happened. They did not know Jesus, but they knew the demon possessed man. He had terrorized them for a long time—a wild lunatic. Attempts to restrain him were futile, and bonds or chains placed upon him were broken in short order. He was a menace to the community.
As Jesus made landfall in a boat, the demons in this poor man led him to approach the Lord. “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.” Jesus asked the demon, “What is thy name?” “Legion” was the answer, because “many devils were entered into him.” (vss. 28,30) At their request, Jesus permitted them to enter into a herd of swine, with the result that the swine ran madly into the lake and perished.—vss. 32,33
Our Key Verse states that as the townfolk approached, they saw their tormentor—the demon possessed one—sitting at the feet of Jesus. He was clothed and in his right mind, speaking rationally with Jesus. The people were frightened by these things. Instead of rejoicing at the great miracle Jesus had performed, in their fear they asked him to leave.—vss. 35-37
The fact that the healed man was now clothed may express, in picture, the blessed clothing that we have received of the Lord. We once were naked and unrighteous before God in our sinful state. However, now we say, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”—Isa. 61:10
We empathize with the one who was possessed, remembering too that fears once tormented us. With gratitude we treasure the blessed haven afforded us in spending time communing with Jesus. As the Apostle John tells us, “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3) People often speak of their personal “demons.” They are referring to fears, prejudices, hatred, malice, greed, desires—those dark and ugly attributes of their sinful nature. There is likely much truth to such a realization of one’s fallen condition.
As Christians, however, we are grateful that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Tim. 1:7) The spirit of a sound mind directly reflects the transforming power of faith in Christ. Apostle Paul expressed this well in his admonition, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2, New American Standard Bible) Our soundness of mind enables us to put the will of God to the proof and come to the profound understanding that his will is “good and acceptable and perfect” in all of life’s experiences. We rejoice that we may leave the madness of this world behind, and, through Christ, obtain a sound mind.