28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes,two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area. 29 They began screaming at Him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” 30 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. 31 So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. 33 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.
My granddaughter Mylee Reese is a Country Music fan and I’m not sure that is a good thing. She is seven years old now but about 3-4 years ago, she was by her bed side doing her night prayers and she prayed a prayer that almost broke up the prayer meeting. I think she got a country song by Billy Currington mixed up with the dinner blessing; she prayed “God is great, beer is good and people are crazy.” Although their are some who professed to be Baptist that would agree with all three, I want to borrow just two. I disagree that beer is good for anything other than Mrs. Belle’s homemade rolls. So the title of the sermon today and the outline is: JESUS IS GREAT, DEMONS ARE DESTRUCTIVE AND PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.
I. Jesus is Great!
- The first thing I want to say about Jesus in connection to this story is the fact that He visited a Gentile area–He came to the East bank. He came to where we are, to where we live. He didn’t have to come. First of all, He could have stayed in heaven but He came to the Jews and was born in Bethlehem of Judah as the long awaited KING of the Jews but the great thing or one of the great things about Jesus is that He wanted to be our king as well. He is not just the King of the Jews, He is the King of kings. I love HIM because He first loved me. He came to seek and to save the lost and that included me. Jesus is still seeking and He is still speaking: I pray that He will speak to us today.
- There is a second thing about Jesus that I think is GREAT! This is something that I dwell upon a lot. Jesus was courageous; He had no fear or insecurity. Folks, there is no telling what I could accomplish if I had no insecurities, no fear. I’m going to tell you the truth, I could have made the boat trip to the East Bank, I’m not afraid of boat and water but when that boat landed on the beach and these two crazy naked men start toward me screaming, I’m out of here. I’m in that boat with all 8 oars in reverse. I can’t get back into the deep fast enough. Jesus calmly got out of the boat and met them. These two men intimidated everyone in the area. People would walk an extra mile to avoid these crazy cats.
- It gets better: we are intimidated by people but how much more are we intimidated by evil and the devil! Not Jesus, He knew that both these men were full of the devil but He never flinched. That is because JESUS IS GREATER than the devil, GREATER than evil, GREATER than demons, disease, and death. Nothing in creation intimidates Jesus, nothing! Put all the demons of hell into one massive army and Jesus is not intimidated. Pilate didn’t intimidate Him. The wicked Herod did not intimidate Him. Nothing intimidates Jesus.
II. Demons are Destructive
- Demons destroy because they are “Tormentors”. The devil is a terrorist and all terrorist are sons of the devil. He is their master, their teacher. Once the demons get control of a human life, all peace is gone. Although the people of the area were afraid of these two crazy men, the men themselves were eaten up with fear. They had no peace night or day. That is why they cut themselves, why they didn’t sleep, why they screamed and shrieked through the night. We are in a demonic war at present and the number one form of possession is narcotics. Alcohol is a narcotic. Any thing that alters the state of the mind is an open door to the devil. The use of narcotics may bring some temporary peace of mind but it is an illusion. Eventually, you will have no peace night or day. Demons go after the mind first and if they get access to your mind [which they do through drugs] they will destroy your peace and then everything else that is around you.
- Demons destroy because they enslave. Drugs would not be a big deal if it were not for addiction. This is what makes demons so destructive; they enslave us. Drugs is not the only issue: Gambling is a form of possession, pornography is also addictive and the number one addiction is “Greed”. People who would never dream of using narcotics are eaten up with greed. I’ve had two people talk to me lately about finding Church Staff personnel and I told one of them, “Check their giving record.” Why would I tell them to check the giving? Because it will save them a lot of time. People who don’t give are greedy and that constitutes an integrity issue because most church expect the staff to tithe.
- Demons destroy because it is their nature: once Jesus allowed the demons to enter the pigs, they immediately ran off the cliff into the sea and drowned. The human mind is more sophisticated than that of the hog and it takes longer in human for the process to work, but you mark my work, demons will destroy because they know nothing else. It is who they are and what they do. So you have to identify the areas where the demons are in control and avoid them.
III. People Are Crazy
- Well on the subject of crazy people: we begin with the two crazy men running around naked scream blood murder. If you have a desire to run around naked in public, something is wrong with you. We have a lot of crazy folks: they are naked but they are getting as close as possible and it is not smart. Mothers, a word of caution to you: don’t let your daughters were immodest apparel: it is crazy. Men, all men, that includes all men are visibly aroused. Why would you want to arouse and old man? Most men are restrained by conscience and fear of God but not all. Not all rapes are induced but many are: if you dress like a prostitute, someone may mistake you for one. You don’t like it, I can tell but let me tell you the truth: “Good men are impressed with women who dress modestly.” Women, there are certain things that should be revealed only to your husband.
- These two guys were crazy for going naked [dead give a way] but they were also crazy for living among the dead. Who in their right mind wants to live in a cemetery. I don’t even want to live next to one, let alone in one. There is a deeper lesson here: the dead can refer to the spiritually dead. Where do you live? Do you live among the dead or the living?
- Jesus cured these two wild screaming naked men and at the end of the story, they are sane, clothed and ready to follow Jesus. The real crazy folks in this story are the Gadarenes.  Some think they ask Jesus to leave because He hurt the pork industry and cost them a lot of money…that is crazy. You choose profit over the PROPHET…. You take Money over the Master…You value Gold more then God…if you do, you are nutty as a fruit cake.  Other suggest that they feared His transforming power and were afraid that He would change their way of life. Listen to me folks, “If you invite Jesus to leave, you are insane, you are not right.” The most insane thing you could do in this life is reject Jesus. It would be absolutely crazy.