God Is Great, Demons Are Real and People Are Crazy

Scripture: Luke 8:26-39, NLT

26 So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. 27 As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in a cemetery outside the town.

28 As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power.

30 Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, for he was filled with many demons. 31 The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit.

32 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs.  So Jesus gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned.

34 When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. 35 People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 36 Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.

So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. 38 The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.

INTRODUCTION

About 5 years ago, our granddaughter Mylee was saying her night prayers [I think she was like three years old] and she prayed…”God is great, beer is good and people are crazy.” I didn’t understand until one of my children told me that it was the title of a country song. Billy Currington came out with this hit in 2008. Billy and Mylee got two out of three: God is indeed GREAT and people are definitely CRAZY. Since beer is a drug and does untold damage to the family, I had to edit that part out–so the title of my sermons is GOD IS GREAT, DEMONS ARE REAL AND PEOPLE ARE CRAZY. You will see all three clearly from our text.

I. GOD {JESUS} IS GREAT

I love stories about Jesus and this is one of my favorites. I don’t know how anyone could read this story and not admire Jesus…He is Great!

  1. Jesus has “Great” courage–[verse 27] As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. [naked as a jay bird and screaming]. Matthew adds that he approached Jesus screaming and Mark said “he ran toward Jesus.” So you step out of the boat on to the beach and here comes a man running straight toward you naked, bleeding from cutting himself, and screaming at the top of his lungs. What would I do, “Get back in the boat ASAP and get the heck out of Dodge. What did Jesus do? He stood calmly waiting on the demoniac to approach. Do you have that kind of courage?
  2. Jesus has “Great” compassion–As soon as Jesus saw him, He knew what the problem was and began speaking to the demons that inhabited this poor man. Not only is Jesus not afraid of our problems, He loves us so much that He intercedes and stands between us and the problem.
  3. Jesus has “Great” power–Jesus spoke directly to the demons and they obeyed His command. Jesus had authority over demons. There were 6,000 demons but they were not match for Jesus. He sent them packing, thus liberating the poor tortured man.

II. DEMONS ARE REAL

I not here to talk a lot about demons; I don’t know much. I don’t major on demonology and I don’t advise you to either. I do believe in demons. Jesus recognized them and although I understand much less than Jesus, I believe they exist. From this one story, I can tell you seven things about demons;

  1. Demons always recognize Jesus [v.28]
  2. Demons pray–three times they beg Jesus [v.28, 30,32] and Jesus answers their prayer. Figure this out theologians. I can’t explain it, I’m just telling you what is in scripture.
  3. Demons are frightening–demons can scare people, they shriek, they scream, they disturb your mind and your peace. They are experts at torture. You want nothing to do with demons. Stay away from the occult-fear it like the plague.
  4. Demons will enslave–When they get a hold on you, they do not let go. This man was enslaved to destructive habits, he cut himself with stones.
  5. Demons can empower–this man had incredible strength, they community had put him in chains but he could break the chains.  The antichrist will be empowered by the devil. You would not want to confront demons in the flesh. You will end up like the seven sons of Sceva, beaten to a pulp and stripped.
  6. Demons are destructive–when Jesus allowed them to enter the swine, they ran down the clefts into the sea and drowned. It was like Jesus hit the fast forward button and said, “When you do business with demons, this is what happens.” Avoid drugs, any form of meditation that is not Christ centered.
  7. Demons are subject to Christ–they are not all powerful.

III. PEOPLE ARE CRAZY

This story begins and ends with crazy people. Listen folks, if you:

  • In you Streak-Go without clothes: run all over the country naked…you might be crazy!
  • In you Slash your wrist and cut yourself with sharp objects just to inflict pain and see blood…you might be crazy!
  • If you Shriek and scream to the top of your lungs…you might be crazy!
  • If you Sleep in a grave yard or a funeral parlor…You might be crazy!
  • If you have supernatural Strength and can snap chains…You might be crazy!

But the demoniac was healed of his craziness. He was sitting calmly and in his right mind. The real crazy folks in this story are the Gerasenes [ge-rä-sā-no’s ]. [gee-raw-so-nos]

  1. Sanity, defined by some is being in touch with, or facing, reality. Thus insanity would be the denial of reality. The Gerasenes [gee-raw-so-nos] were out of touch with reality. They saw the miraculous transformation of a demon possessed man. Instead of screaming and running naked, he was sitting calmly, with clothes on and carrying on a conversation. He was a radically changed man and they knew it. Have you or I seen anything so radical as this man’s transformation? The Ge-ra-se-nes were denying reality.
  2. Crazy people make bad judgments: the Gerasenes valued the price of hogs more than the value of a human soul. William Barclay: “No thing [including animals] in this world can ever be as important as a persons soul.” Tell that to PETA or Planned Parenthood or should I say, tell that to the democrats. This country has gone nuts. We are crazy. We slaughter babies like they are sheep and it is sanctioned by our courts. Spotted Owls and Polar Bears have more protection than the unborn. If that is not insanity, I don’t know what is!  We elect a sleaze ball like Bill Clinton; for the first time in American history we have a president that flaunts his sexual immorality and then we elect him again. Is this not crazy? Then we elect a community organizer which means a person who knows how to organize a mod and he is supported financially by the other mod, one that we here before he began organizing and we elect him to be commander in chief. He never served in the Military. We don’t know for a fact that he is even an American citizen, he never had a job, never ran a business and never paid taxes until he became a politician. Then after he does what he said he would do which is to destroy American by destroying its foundations: the family, the forefathers and the constitution and we elect him again. Now tell me the general public is not crazy. What we are doing is insane.
  3. But the Crazy of the craziest is to ask Jesus to shove off. They invited Jesus to leave: they insisted that He leave and He left. If the LORD speaks to you today and you tell Him to but out and leave you alone, how insane is that? When we banned scripture and prayer from classrooms, was that not an invitation for Jesus to leave?
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