Monday, September 17, 2012

Gerasene Rush

Luke 8:26-33 (ESV)
Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. [27] When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. [28] When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me." [29] For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) [30] Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," for many demons had entered him. [31] And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. [32] Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. [33] Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

His name was Legion for many demons had entered him. They clean up and seven more make home. So it is. Jesus relieved the man of the demons possessing him. The demons want to be spared the abyss, so they ask to inhabit pigs which they immediately drive into the lake. And where do they go after that? The abyss. In the end they choose to go there. Evil does that.
We aren’t too much better. Left to our own devices this is where we would rather go. It isn’t that God sends anyone to hell, but in a Gerasene rush we all head that way. That is if the Holy Spirit does not intervene in and through the gospel to bring us to faith, and apply the mercy of God. God does not delight in the death of the wicked. God is so opposed to the damnation of man, he sent his only Son to die for us that we would all be saved the hell fire he prepared for the devil and his angels. That is profound, and perhaps one of the greatest arguments against the Calvinist doctrine against predestination which necessitates God intending hell for men and women. He did not and does not. But like pigs possessed of demons, people are intent on rejecting God’s grace, and squandering his mercy in a mad dash for the lake of fire. We let the world and all of its cares choke out the life we have been given, we teach our kids to do the same. We rush from one event to another, always letting church take a back seat. Refusing to stop, refusing to hear, refusing to see the great love our creator has for us in his Son, who would spare us the abyss for all eternity and give us life. Who loves us so much that he was willing to die in our place.

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