Jesus Casts Out Demons
Let us continue forward in our study of the Life of Christ. In Sunday School, we studied the event of Jesus and His Apostles crossing the Sea of Galilee. From the event we will study in this EBlast, we learn that they were heading from Jewish territory on the west side of the sea to Gentile territory on the east side of the sea. After the wind and the waves obeyed Jesus, His Apostles asked, “What kind of man is this”. I believe that is exactly what Jesus wanted His Apostles to be asking and answering. His Apostles were the only ones who saw Jesus control nature. He was focused on teaching them. So they asked, “What kind of man is this”?? The God/Man. Fellas, this is what you need to know. I’m not just a miracle worker. I am God. I will die, be buried, and resurrect and then I will be returning to my Father Heaven. This is all happening soon. I am preparing you to lead the Mystery Kingdom which is soon to come on Earth. You will not be able to do this on your own. I will be with you, and I am God. Depend on me.
As a side note: according to my investigation (which could have limited accuracy), in the Gospel of Mark, after the National Rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus told His Apostles 6 times that He was going to die and 5 times that He was going to resurrect.
Remember, after the National Rejection, Jesus began to focus on teaching and preparing His Apostles for their lives and leadership in the Mystery Kingdom. He was about to return to His Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit was about to come and indwell the believers on Earth.
This brings us to the next event in the life of Christ. After calming the storm, Jesus and His Apostles went over to the region of Gedara or the city of Gerasa. This is Gentile territory.
This event is recorded in Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-39. Please read those passages.
Let us look at some observations: Please note that Jesus went directly to Gentile territory following the National Rejection. Gentiles had come to him before, but now He was going to them. As Jesus had taught His Apostles (and crowd) in His previous parables, He was now showing His Apostles that the Gospel will spread out far and wide. There will be Jews in the Church and there will be Gentiles in the Church. Notice how Jesus had only His Apostles with Him in this event in Gentile territory. Just like the event in the boat.
Jesus dialogues with the demons. They know Who He is. He allows them to speak. This is our first clear presentation in the New Testament of what it looks like for a person to be demon possessed. Remember, this is what the Sanhedrin said was Jesus’ problem. This was the basis for their rejection of Him - demon/devil possession. Here, Jesus is showing His Apostles why it really looks like. There is a legion of demons in this man. There are two men but only one becomes the focus of the event. A Roman legion is between 3,000-6,000 soldiers. Between these two men we may have had 6,000-12,000 demons.
The demons ask Jesus to not cast them into the Abyss. The Abyss is a place in Sheol, in the inner Earth. Sheol has 2 main sections. One is good. One is bad. The good section has two names: Abraham’s Bosom and Paradise. This is where Jesus went when He proclaimed the good news and liberty to the captives, during His three days in the belly of the Earth. The captives were the spirits of those Who believed in God and then died…for all of human history up to that point.
The bad section of Sheol has three separate compartments. One compartment has three names. Gehenna - Hebrew; Hades - Greek; Hell - English? This is where all unbelievers go until the Great White Throne judgment. Bodies in the ground, spirits in Gehenna. The second compartment is called Tartarus. This is where the demons from Genesis 6 are held captive. The third compartment is the Abyss. This is where some demons are held until Revelation 9 when they are released at the 5th trumpet judgment. It is there that this legion of demons does not want to be sent. They want the freedom to continue to roam the Earth. They ask Jesus to cast them into the herd of swine standing there.
For reasons we do not know, Jesus grants their request. Once the demons enter the swine, the swine, now tormented by demons, drown themselves. Now that the two men have no demons in them, they are in their right minds. They get dressed and one of them sits at the feet of Jesus. The people of the town and surrounding district ask Jesus to depart from them. They are terrified.
The man who has been set free from the demons, asks If he may depart and go with Jesus. Jesus tells him no. He should stay in the Decapolis (10 cities) and tell people what God has done for Him. Notice that? Jesus did the miracle work. Jesus told the man to tell others that it was God who did it. Jesus is telling the man, and other people who are there and HIS APOSTLES, that He is God. Training His Apostles.
As we learn later in the life of Christ, this man indeed did as Jesus said. When Jesus feeds the 4,000, He is back in the Decapolis region. The 4,000 people came to Him, undoubtedly, because this healed man had told them about Jesus.
After this event, Jesus will return directly back to Jewish territory near His home.