Luke 8:26-39

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

December 27, 2000


Jesus had been teaching the people, drawing crowds, and it was time to pull away for awhile.  Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and headed across the Sea of Galilee.  In the middle of the voyage, they were hit with a storm and the disciples panicked because it looked like they were going to sink.  All the while Jesus was asleep in the boat.  They woke Jesus up, and He rebuked the wind and the waves, making the storm go away.  The disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith, not in their inability to rebuke the storm for themselves, but in their lack of trust in Jesus to take care of them.

:26-36  Legion

:26  And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.

they arrivedkatapleo – to sail down from the deep sea to the land; to put in

countrychora – the space lying between two places or limits; a region or country i.e. a tract of land; the (rural) region surrounding a city or village, the country; the region with towns and villages which surround a metropolis

Gadarenes Gadarenos – “reward at the end”; the area around the city of Gadara. About five miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee.  About 11 miles straight across the lake from Capernaum.

Chuck:  The city of Gadara has recently been discovered in the last couple of years. At the present time they are excavating the sight of the city of Gadara.  They were building a new road up into the Golan heights  and as they were building this new road, they began to come across these ruins, and so they halted their building, and called in the archaeologist, and they discovered the sight of the aged city of Gadara. And so they moved the road a few hundred yards, and are now excavating the city of Gadara. Interestingly enough a couple of miles from the sight of the city of Gadara, is the only place around the sea of Galilee where there is a steep incline leading into the sea. So the very area where Jesus landed in His boat can be ascertained there today, and it is near the ruins of the aged city of Gadara.

:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

there met hupantao – to go to meet, to meet; in military reference, of a hostile meeting

devils daimonion – the divine power, deity, divinity; a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

This isn’t just a troubled person, or mentally ill person.  This man has been possessed by demons.

long hikanos – sufficient; many enough, enough; sufficient in ability, i.e. meet, fit

He had been possessed “long enough”.

tombs mnema – a monument or memorial to perpetuate the memory of any person or thing; a sepulchral monument; a sepulchre or tomb

I wonder sometimes about some of the images that certain rock musicians like to surround themselves with, images of death, dying, pain, suffering.  I think as I’m getting older that I’m beginning to think that some of it is calculated to simply produce an effect on parents.  Some of it is simply meant to get attention.  But some of it is definitely demonic.

:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

he cried out anakrazo – to raise a cry from the depth of the throat, to cry out

fell down before prospipto – to fall forwards, fall down, prostrate one’s self before, in homage or supplication: at one’s feet

Mark records:

(Mark 5:6 KJV)  But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
worshippedproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

loudmegas – great; in particular, of space and its dimensions, as respects; used of intensity and its degrees: with great effort, of the affections and emotions of the mind, of natural events powerfully affecting the senses: violent, mighty, strong

most highhupsistos – highest, most high; of place: the highest regions; of rank: the most high God

I beseech deomai – to want, lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg; the thing asked for; to pray, make supplications

This is a word used often of praying.

torment basanizo – to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal; to question by applying torture; to torture; to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment; to be harassed, distressed

:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

he had commanded paraggello – to transmit a message along from one to another, to declare, announce; to command, order, charge; is used esp. of the order of a military commander to his troops.  The verb is an imperfect tense, continuous action in the past.

unclean akathartos – not cleansed, unclean; in a ceremonial sense: that which must be abstained from according to the levitical law; in a moral sense: unclean in thought and life

oftentimespolus – many, much, large

it had caught sunarpazo – to seize by force; to catch or lay hold of (one so that he is no longer his own master); to seize by force and carry away

bounddesmeo – to bind, tie

chainshalusis – a chain, bond by which the body or any part of it (hands, feet) is bound

fetterspede – a fetter, shackle for the feet

kept phulasso – to guard; to watch, keep watch

“bound with chains and fetters he was guarded”.  Apparently someone in the city felt it necessary to have this guy chained up for the good of everyone.

brake diarrhesso – to break asunder, burst through, rend asunder; to rend, which was done by the Jews to their clothes in cases of extreme indignation or in deep grief

bandsdesmon – a band or bond

was driven elauno – to drive; of the wind driving ships or clouds; of sailors propelling a vessel by oars, to row; to be carried in a ship, to sail; of demons driving to some place the men whom they possess

wildernesseremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; a desert, wilderness; deserted places, lonely regions

I have to admit that some of the images this provokes in me reminds me of some of the homeless people we see on the streets.

Not all homeless people are demon possessed.  Not all emotionally or mentally ill people are demon possessed.  But I have to admit I wonder sometimes.

In third-world countries, the manifestation of demons is much more common.  I don’t know if it’s that we’re in a “Christian country” or if the demons just disguise themselves better here.

:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

asked eperotao – to accost one with an enquiry, put a question to, enquiry of, ask, interrogate; to address one with a request or demand; to ask of or demand of one

Legion legeon – a legion, a body of soldiers whose number differed at different times, and in the time of Augustus seems to have consisted of 6826 men (i.e. 6100 foot soldiers, and 726 horsemen)

devilsdaimonion – the divine power, deity, divinity; a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

manypolus – many, much, large

entered intoeiserchomai – to go out or come in: to enter; of men or animals, as into a house or a city; of Satan taking possession of the body of a person; of things: as food, that enters into the eater’s mouth

:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

besought parakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort; to beg, entreat, beseech

command epitasso – to enjoin upon, order, command, charge

The demons know that when Jesus gives a command, they have to obey.

to go outaperchomai – to go away, depart

the deep abussos (“not” + “bottom”) – bottomless; unbounded; the abyss; the pit; the immeasurable depth; a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth, thought to be a prison for demons.

The Abyss – here’s what we know:

There are demons currently being held there who will be released during the Tribulation.  They will torment mankind.
(Rev 9:1-11 KJV)  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. {2} And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. {3} And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. {4} And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. {5} And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. {6} And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. {7} And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. {8} And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. {9} And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. {10} And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. {11} And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
The antichrist in some sense comes from this place.  Perhaps he is possessed by a demon from the abyss.
(Rev 11:7 KJV)  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
(Rev 17:8 KJV)  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Satan will be temporarily imprisoned in the abyss during the Millennium, when Christ rules for a thousand years on earth.
(Rev 20:1-3 KJV)  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. {2} And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, {3} And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

swinechoiros – a swine; pig

many hikanos – sufficient; many enough, enough; sufficient in ability, i.e. meet, fit

Mark records that there were 2,000 pigs in the herd (Mark 5:13).

feedingbosko – to feed

besoughtparakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort; to beg, entreat, beseech

suffer … suffer epitrepo – to turn to, transfer, commit, instruct; to permit, allow, give leave

Demons apparently like to be in something.

(Luke 11:24-26 KJV)  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. {25} And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. {26} Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

The demons need permission from Jesus to be able to enter into the pigs.

:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

went … outexerchomai – to go or come forth of; of those who are expelled or cast out

ran violently hormao – to set in rapid motion, stir up, incite, urge on; to start forward impetuously, to rush

steep place kremnos – a steep place, a precipice.  It sounds like they went over a cliff.

were chokedapopnigo – to choke; to suffocate with water, drown

Demons can inhabit an animal.

It has been suggested that this is the first occurrence of “deviled ham”.


Demons can be behind self-destructive behavior.

Look how often they are trying to kill their host:
Jesus cast a demon out of a boy who would at times throw himself into the fire or into the water.  (Mat. 17:14-18)
Mark records about Legion:

(Mark 5:5 KJV)  And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan:

(Luke 4:9 KJV)  And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

Peter writes,
(1 Pet 5:8 KJV)  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan wants to kill us.

:34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

fled pheugo – to flee away, seek safety by flight; metaph. to flee (to shun or avoid by flight) something abhorrent, esp. vices; to be saved by flight, to escape safely out of danger; poetically, to flee away, vanish

It’s possible that they were afraid of what Jesus might do to them, but it’s also possible that they were simply afraid for their jobs since they lost the entire flock of 2,000 pigs.

wentaperchomai – to go away, depart

toldapaggello – to bring tidings (from a person or a thing), bring word, report; to proclaim, to make known openly, declare

country agros – land; the field, the country; a piece of land, bit of tillage; the farms, country seats, neighbouring hamlets

They told it in the city and out in the fields.

:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

they went outexerchomai – to go or come forth of; of those who are expelled or cast out

sittingkathemai – to sit down, seat one’s self; to sit, be seated, of a place occupied

were departed exerchomai – to go or come forth of; of those who are expelled or cast out.  The verb is a “pluperfect”, past-past tense.  The situation with the demons is all over.

clothedhimatizo – to clothe

right mind sophroneo – to be of sound mind; to be in one’s right mind; to exercise self control; to put a moderate estimate upon one’s self, think of one’s self soberly; to curb one’s passions


God wants you sane.

This is the word we saw so many times in Paul’s letter to Titus, I’ve come to associate it with “sanity”.
Paul contrasts it with being “beside ourselves”, being “crazy”.
2Co 5:13  For whether we be beside ourselves, [it is] to God: or whether we be sober, [it is] for your cause.
It’s the opposite of thinking too highly of yourself.
Ro 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
It’s in contrast with “fear”
2Ti 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
This is the word Paul used so many times in telling Titus how to work with those lazy, lying Cretans.
It was the requirement of an elder (Tit. 1:8); old men (Tit. 2:2); old women were to teach the young women how to have it (Tit. 2:4); young women were to have it (2:5); Young men too (Tit. 2:6).

“Sanity” can be learned.

God’s grace teaches us to be sane

Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Sanity involves denying ungodly and worldly lusts.  If you don’t deny those lusts, could it be that they will drive you insane?  I think it possible.

Knowing the end is near teaches us to be
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

they were afraidphobeo – to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away); to fear, be afraid; to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm; of those startled by strange sights or occurrences

:36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.

healed sozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

The crowd had heard that it wasn’t a freak accident.  They had seen Jesus cast the demons out of Legion and then watch as the pigs went wild.

:37-40  People ask Jesus to leave

:37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.

besought erotao – to question; to ask; to request, entreat, beg, beseech

wholehapas – quite, all, the whole, all together, all

multitudeplethos – a multitude; a great number, of men or things; the whole number, the whole multitude, the assemblage; the multitude of the people

to departaperchomai – to go away, depart

fearphobos – fear, dread, terror

greatmegas – great

were taken withsunecho – to hold together; to hold together with constraint, to compress; to press on every side; to hold completely; to be held with, afflicted with, suffering from

returned backhupostrepho – to turn back; to turn about; to return

Why did they want Jesus to leave?

The unclean spirits had gone into the unclean animals.

What were the unclean animals doing there?  Why were they being fed by these people?  It was a pig farm.  They were raising animals that they shouldn’t have been.  They were caught.

It would be like Jesus destroying a marijuana farm today.

It seems that they were more interested in their own ungodly profits than in Jesus.

:38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

besought deomai – to want, lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg; the thing asked for; to pray, make supplications

sent him away apoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer; to let go free, release; to release a debtor, i.e. not to press one’s claim against him, to remit his debt

It’s not a “mean” kind of word used here.  It’s the idea of setting this man free, freeing him from feeling obliged to staying with Jesus.

Jesus has other plans for this man.


Church isn’t the only place ministry occurs.

Church is a great place.  There is a wonderful sense of God’s presence here as we get together.  This is one of the places where God works in our lives.
And so it’s natural that we think that this is the only place where God works.
I see it in guys who get the idea into their head that because God has worked in their life, they are going to go into the ministry.
Don’t get me wrong, I like that idea.
But sometimes God has other things for you to do first, other places for you to work.

:39 Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

return hupostrepho – to turn back; to turn about; to return

Jesus was returning home, now this man needed to return home too.

house oikos – a house; an inhabited house, home; the people of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household

Jesus was sending this guy back to his family.

Note:  The opposite happens in a cult.  A cult will often try to separate you from your own family, since they are the people who know you best.

Jesus, on the other hand, will often send you right back home, to show the people who know you the most that Jesus has really made a difference in you.

showdiegeomai – to lead or carry a narration through to the end; set forth, recount, relate in full, describe

This guy wasn’t just to tell his family that he met Jesus.  He was to set out every detail, let them know completely just what had happened to his life.

That takes time.

how great things hosos – as great as, as far as, how much, how many, whoever

He was to show them all that God had done.  The emphasis here is not on the word “GREAT”.  Don’t think that you don’t have anything to share because you don’t have something “great” to tell.  Just tell them ALL that God has done.

published kerusso – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed; to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done


Tell the news at home.

That’s where people are going to see if it’s really real or not.
You don’t have to have “great things”, just Jesus.  If Jesus has done anything for you, you have something to say.