Luke 8:26-56 (NIV)
Jesus shows himself master over demons, disease, and death!
The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man
26They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside.
The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
They preferred their swine . . . to the Savior . . .
38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
I have friends who go to India twice a year and teach pastors and others to tell the stories of the Bible by heart. Then the pastors tell those stories over and over again, to anyone who is interested. Of course, a good story is hard to resist — and the power of the Lord is revealed! Here is one account from one of their pastors.
Only One Word
Last January I went to conduct training at an adult education center in a village. A sister named Sunita, who had been telling the Bible stories there had asked me to come because a family there had a lot of problems. Every year this family had done many pujas [all-day idol worship ceremonies] in their home. They had a lot of idols that they would sacrifice to at least twice a year. They were spending 20,000 to 25,000 rupees each year on those sacrifices. As a result, that family was going through many financial problems. In fact on the day I went there, that woman was possessed by demons (they said she even had power to levitate people).
When I got there many people came and sat together and I shared the stories with them starting from Genesis. I told them about Jesus and why He came into this world. I said to them, “If you want to be delivered from the devil, then you have to believe on Jesus Christ.”
Then I started to pray for the woman. But when I began to pray, she got up and started dancing in front of the idols where they sacrificed in their home.
So I began to pray, saying, “In Jesus’ Name, go out from her!” The people were amazed that even hearing that one word, the demons left her. And the people could see the power of Jesus, that even by one word that demon went out from her.
After getting relief from the demon, all the people who were there stayed for prayer. They realized, “The idol that we trusted in could do nothing.” So that very day they started gathering their idols together and they threw them out. We put them all into a sack and threw it in the river.
Since then the storytelling lady has kept telling them stories from the Bible. Now all the people in that family have come to Christ, and services are being held regularly where she is telling the stories.
A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman
40Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Exodus 15:26 (NLT)
“I am the Lord who heals you.”
49While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher any more.”
Lamentations 3:57 (NASB)
You drew near when I called on You;
You said, “Do not fear!”
51When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
HERE is an eternal truth for the demon-possessed man, for the woman with the hemorrhage, for the little girl — and for all of us. “O the deep, deep love of Jesus,” sung by Audry Assad and Fernando Ortega.