We read of a remarkable miracle today in Luke 8, the healing of a man who had become deranged. He was well known, owned a house and lived in the city before he became mentally unwell. Jesus did many miracles in many different ways but this healing was particularly challenging to those who knew the man.
Jesus came to “the country of the Gerasenes” and this man, in his mental state, lived among the tombs, “When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” (verse 28). In this state he perceived who Jesus really was! There was nothing to be gained by Jesus explaining that such a state of mind was not caused by an ‘evil spirit’ taking over control of the mind, a belief arising from Greek superstitions. The Old Testament shows that no such beliefs were held in earlier years.
A dramatic healing occurs! The supposed ‘demons’ are ‘seen’ to enter the pigs because they madly rush down the slope and drown in the waters of Galilee. Now eating pork, even touching their carcasses was unclean under the law God gave to Moses (Leviticus 11:7,8); those keeping the pigs had no regard for the law! The event was a challenge to the “people (who) went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid” (verse 35).
Every other healing by Jesus resulted in more people coming to be healed but not here! “All the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them for they were seized with great fear” (verse 37). We suspect they were afraid of other things that might happen that would cause a further loss of livelihood.
The reasons are not entirely different today for those who believe in evolution rather than a Creator who will hold them responsible for how they live. Those who believe in a Creator have at least some responsibility! Recall what we read in Ezekiel chapter 3. “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall sure die’”. God says to Ezekiel, “and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn … he shall die for his iniquity but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked … you will have delivered your soul” (3:18,19). Any words we speak or write must be done in love. Jesus told his hearers to “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). We do not want Jesus to depart from us.