Someone has said that this demoniac was a nude dude in a rude mood. This man was possessed by demons, but when he met Jesus the demons left. This man wore no clothes, but when he met Jesus, we find him clothing himself. This man lived among the tombs, but when he met Jesus he made himself a home. This man was constantly shouting and falling down, but when he met Jesus he seated himself calmly at the feet of Jesus. Wouldn't everyone be thrilled at the change?
(v.15) "They observed the man (healed)... and they were frightened." (v.17) "And they began to beg Christ to leave their region." Why would people react to a miracle in this way?
- When the power of God begins to change people, the status quo is threatened.
Verse four tells us that the demoniac "had often been bound with shackles and chains." The chains didn't just appear. They were place there by the veyr people who now are frightened. It's neat and clean when we bind and chain what we cannot control. It's eay to dismiss those who don't meet our expectations of what they should be. It's even easier to program church. But there are those times when God begins to shake the status quo of organized religion by reaching people who have not been a part of cultured, civilized society—and it can be scary. When God begins to do things outside our boxes, we either rejoice and create new boxes or get scared and tell God to leave and continue doing things inside boxes of our own making.
- When the power of God begins to change people, the economics don't always add up.
Verse fourteen says that "the herdsmen" ran away and reported "it" in the city and country. What is the "it" that was reported? Was it the healing of the demoniac? Was it the incredible transformation of the former tomb walker? I tend to believe that "it" was the loss of the pigs. "Those who had seen it described how it had happened... and all about the swine" (v.16). In other words, what excited the Gentiles most was the economic loss as a result of healing. One of the things that we have to recognize as a church is that when God begins to move in the lives of people who need his healing, there will be unexpected, unplanned expenses.
- When the power of God begins to change people, those in need of change begin to hear.
Verse 19 Jeuss tells the former demoniac, "Go home to your people and report to them." The people to whom Jesus was referring would be the Gadarenes (or Gerasens), which included Gentiles who lived in ten cities (Decapolis) on the eastern side of the Jordan. Then, more and more folks who are in need of Christ's transforming power begin to show.
There probably should be just a couple of closing thoughts on the subject of real revival. The change that comes by the power of God is a change that occurs from the power "outside" of ourselves. It is the power of Christ, and His power does not always look the same in people. Jesus Himself "had been saying to him, 'Come out!'" (v.8). In other words, even Jesus healed people in different manners. Sometimes with a touc, or sometimes with a word, or in this instance, repeated, continual statements. For those of us who are launching into ministry for helping those who are in need of the power of Christ, we would do well to remember that there is no program, no ministry, no organization that has all the answers. It is the power of Christ alone.