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Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
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July 3, 2022 12:01 am

Legion

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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July 3, 2022 12:01 am

Everyone whom Jesus has rescued from sin is granted a profound privilege: to proclaim the great works of Christ to the world. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his series in the gospel of Luke by considering Jesus' deliverance of a man in bondage to a legion of demons.

Get R.C. Sproul's Expositional Commentary on the Gospel of Luke for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/2103/luke-commentary

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There's a fascinating account of Scripture were Jesus and the disciples encounter a man possessed by a legion of demons and a herd of pigs was nearby.

If it took invading the pigs with these demons, the rescue one human day from Satan. Jesus would sacrifice the whole herd of pigs.

This is a familiar but strange story Jesus commanded those demons that are critical pigs.

The response of the people who witnessed this was not what we might expect. They asked Jesus to leave today on Renewing Your Mind.

We returned on jerseys groceries from the gospel of Luke and focuses on Jesus divine power over both the natural and supernatural realms to recall the last passage examined in the gospel of Luke was the account of Jesus calming the storm that came up on the Sea of Galilee, and on that occasion, we recall that prior to Jesus calming of the storm.

The disciples were afraid that they would perish, and after Jesus performed this astonishing act instead of their figure being removed. It was intensified and they became very much afraid, and they cried out, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey now what happened immediately after that, we don't know because Luke doesn't take up the narrative until the boat in which Jesus and the disciples are sailing reaches sure I can't help but wonder if there was any conversation among the disciples were with Jesus after the pastor? What kind of a man is this, I wonder how long the terror that they experienced in Jesus presence remain with them but I can only imagine that as the boat came nearer and nearer to the shore there on the Sea of Galilee in the area of the Decapolis that they were feeling a greater sense of relief because they wanted to get out of that boat and for a time. At least they wanted to get out of the presence of Jesus because for them. This is been one of the most traumatic and terrifying days of their law now of course what follows immediately is only more drama and more terror because as the boat comes into land on the shore. It is greeted by the wild man that Luke defines and describes here in the text, and so we read that when they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes which is opposite Galilee and when he that is, Jesus stepped out on the land there met him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. Let me just pause there for a second. This is not the only incident of demon possession that we encounter in the New Testament is not the only case where geniuses cast out demons from these people who were so sorely afflicted, and we are not generally accustomed in our day to seeing people demon possessed and at least in this part of the world. Though there are occasional accounts of that nevertheless we see in the New Testament, heavy concentration of this phenomenon, but in any case, we have the record here of a man and were told his demon possessed body differs from other demon possessed persons to what degree while anyone who was demon possessed is in a serious state is a horrible thing to have to experience or to contemplate, but if demon possession can admit to degrees.

This particular fellow was severely demon possessed, and if for no other reason. It was for the member of demons that have entered into here.

Obviously, the New Testament sees the possibility of demon possession as involving more than one demon on any occasion. But in this case where told that this man is possessed by a multitude of them.

As the conversation explained we really this man who had been in the city and who had been demon possessed for long time now wore no clothes, ran around naked nor did they live in a house he was living in the city anymore, but he lived in the tomb's in the area that is being described here is right on the edge of the Sea of Galilee where it rises up a steep cliff to the top and on that cliff was built a cemetery that is multiple graves and bedrooms, most of which were filled but some of which were still vacant and you talk about a homeless person here was this poor soul living not in the streets of the city in a cardboard box where he was from the but he had been banished from his own town sent now out into what was the wilderness and lived naked in a true and we said when he saw Jesus he's up there on the hill and he sees this boat coming to the shore and when he saw Jesus, he cried out, and the rush down to Jesus. As Jesus steps toward on the shore and with a loud voice he screams at Jesus this question and to be faithful to the text.

I should screen the question, but I don't want to scare you to death, and so I'll just try to do this in a normal tone of voice, because I might scare you do that if I imitated a demon, but some of you would call method acting like it. I tried to have humor. That's a little bit subtle but maybe it's just too early in the morning on the anyway this man said in a loud voice. One of my to do with you, Jesus, son of the most high God not obviously the voice that is coming out of this me is not his own as the demonic that is addressing the question what we had to do with you, Jesus. What you doing here son of the most high God.

Now I see supreme irony in here. The last time we saw a question in this text was the question raised by the disciples when Jesus calmed the storm what manner of man is who is this fellow of the answer to that question is provided by the demon that Amos don't have to say what manner of man is this, they know exactly what manner of man. It was and they recognize what the disciples didn't recognize that they were in the presence of God incarnate, and they use the title song of the most high God, you know, when I read that phrase most high God in the New Testament. I sorta get chill bumps because of it. For this reason, it's, it's not a description of God that we normally use but yet in the the realm of anthropology and sociology where scholars have gone around the world that I mentioned the last time about discovering religion among the most remote people in the world and and among animistic tribes and so on. And for the most part that the religion that the animists have is one that's completely negative.

They have evil spirits that they have to appease spirits that indwell the alligator the crocodile or the rhinoceros or whatever, and their religion does not focus upon a monotheistic deity, but the anthropologists have said that when they probe the people about their religion they are able to discover that they have a vague memory of the God whose on the other side of the mountain.

The God is not a part of their daily lives and they refer to him as the most high, which verifies what the apostle Paul tells us in Romans chapter 1 that God reveals himself plainly and clearly to all people everywhere and that all the amount of false religion that we have cannot extinguish that revelation that God gives of himself.

So in every tribe and every tongue, every nation there is an awareness repressed as it may be not only of a God not only of the of the most I God I like in the theological implications that it has.

There's a term in Latin is used in technical theology to describe God where he is called the ends perfect seamless the most perfect being, and even there, the theologians of the Middle Ages who invented this kind of language were prone to splatter and to redundancy to talk about this Perla to have degree of perfection.

I didn't know that perfection admitted to the grace if something is perfect it can't be most perfect, because most perfect gains nothing over perfect. If you're perfect you've reached the ultimate limit of what can be but as a matter of intentional hyperbole.

The theologians spoke of the most perfect because they couldn't find an adequate way to extol the perfection that resides in God and now these demons understand that and they recognize Jesus and now it's not the man in the boat that are terrified, it's the demons who were terrified and they're the ones who are saying what you doing here. Have you come to torment us for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, and then more background supplied by Luke presents what it often seems to and the management kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles while he was still in the town it was demon possessed.

When he was in the town that he behaved in this while Manor was in the town. So much so that he was a threat to the well-being of the citizens of the round them as tightly as they could. But no matter how tightly they bound him. This man found a way to break his bonds and free himself and so the people drove him into the wilderness. Now Jesus asked him a question. They had a acknowledge the new Jesus and what his name was and so he says okay what's your name.

You know my name. You have made a disadvantage. Please tell me your name and he said Legion because many demons had entered him and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss. While there's a lot in that sentence the demon possessed man whoever was the spokesman for the demons identified himself by the name Legion now I Legion in Roman categories consisted not of a handful of soldiers but a multitude of soldiers numbering 6000 so if you take this literally, it would demonic being is saying. Our name is Legion because there 6000 of us in this poor man well I doubt if that was the case. I doubt if there were 6000 demons crammed into this one. Poor guy. Rather, here we have another evidence of hyperbole were saying that where so many that were like a Legion like a whole host of us are here.

Well, maybe when were in heaven we can get the exact number but for now the message is clear that this man's possession was from a multitude of demonic spirits and they begged Jesus what was it that they begged. This is significant, they begged him that he would not command them to go into the this abyss is bottomless pit and obviously is symbolic of how itself. If we compare this with the other synoptic Gospels.

There is another element added to it where they begged Jesus not to command them to go into the abyss. Quote before the time these demons knew what their future held.

They knew their destiny. They knew that God in his authority had appointed a day in time were the demons would be shot up forever in the abyss, but that time had not yet come.

The atonement had not yet been made. The kingdom of God had not reached its consummation as it would at the end of the age and in fact the demons move that the day in which they would be sent into the abyss was way off in the future. At least that was the theology they had been taught by the Prince of demons, Satan himself well.

Jesus knew that Kai Ross that time that God had appointed was not yet and so on the surface it seems as though Jesus now is negotiating with East demon because they are reminding him that it's too early to be sent into the pit and we see then that Jesus doesn't send them in the pit and some will come dated like that is what she's doing here surrendering to the police and to the wishes of these evil beings, but he's not.

Jesus acknowledges by his actions that it isn't the time to send them into the pit, but it was time for them to come out of this main and so Jesus responded in this manner is Luke tells us there was a herd of money swine feeding there on the mountain and they begged him that he would permit them to enter them and he permitted no. Does this cause a hue and cry among people who are saying see Jesus was such a good guy after all he was unfair and unjust and gave cruel and unusual punishment to these animals. In fact, there were those in the town that wanted to start a whole movement called save this one and make the swine protected species/this Jesus ever come back into their village again. But you know Jesus understood the difference between human being and the beasts of the field. Jesus created a will and he knew that the animals were created for man, not man for the Jesus knew nothing of a world where fish eggs were protected and unborn human beings were destroyed. I was as foreign to his way of thinking that anything could be read the paper this past week.

By the way. A lady wrote a letter and subject criticized some man for questioning the legitimacy of abortions in with the same old argument. She now before she read the rest the whole article.

It was Amanda wrote it because men know nothing about pregnancy and men, of course, obviously, are incapable of making any kind of analyses of ethical issues. Only women can do that as you said, reciting the mantra that you hear all the top abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor think that them and that now there's an intelligent observation.

I wanted to hear her say next bank robbery should be a matter of choice. It's a matter between the robber and the banker and homicide should be a matter of choice between the murderer and the victim madness that people use the statements and no relapse and I don't get it. But anyway, back to the store there. Those are upset the Jesus harmed these poor little takes was, you know, pigs were considered unclean animals by the Jews of a lot of Gentiles to live here and that the S. And this is probably a Gentile herd swine. But here's the point. If it took invading the pigs with these demons, the rescue one human day from Satan. Jesus would sacrifice the whole herd of pigs. Jesus told us that God notices the the landing of every word in the year every sparrow plans noticed by God and are you not worth more than a bird.

Are you not worth more than a page. Of course we are in the scheme of creation.

And so Jesus sent the demons out of the man into the swine and immediately the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drown when those who fed them saw what is happened what happened they fled the city and in the country. They went running back home and said you can't believe what happened.there this fellow came along. He secured that, while men that we know about to get breaking his bond but he told something demons into our pigs and in the pigs went on over the hill in the water and drowned. Know it was for so they wanted to see what happened.

Of course they came to Jesus and found the man for whom the demons that open sitting at the feet of Jesus close now and in his right mind, Melanie, Jesus calmed the sea, he healed a human day who was tormented by demons and hours and a sound mind. What was the response of the Townsend the same response of disciples and the boat on the Sea of Galilee and they were afraid of the reason why they sent that man out to the tunes in the first place is because they were afraid of him and now they come and they find him call close in his right mind, and they're scared what just they also would see the told about what means they were possessed man was healed so the whole multitude. The surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them. When I heard how this man was healed. Then nurse Jesus coming to the city and set up a practice they said please leave.

As I mentioned the last time nothing terrifies human being more than the presence of a holy in this town. People realize that they were in the presence of one who was holy and they were not, and they wanted him out of there. You wonder why Jesus was killed wasn't killed because he was killed because it was holy I had to be done away with. So Jesus got of the boats and left the man for whom the demons departed begged him or grabbed the gun a little but please don't leave St. take me with you is of no return.

Your own house until what great thing God has done for you, and he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things the son of the most high God had done for him. I don't know that I was ever possessed by demons that I was certainly bondage to sin. Like every unbeliever is in service. Satan rather than God's every unbeliever, once God's rescued me, gave me the duty to claim his great works.

You can since the gratitude that RC had for his salvation as he wrapped up that sermon from the gospel of Luke. You're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Lord's day I'm Lee Webb and thank you for being with us today. Each week we returned to Dr. groceries through this gospel account of Jesus life and ministry. Dr. spell was able to mind the depths of Scripture. It is sermon series and you'll be able to study one when you request a resource offer today. It's a digital download of his expositional commentary of Luke is nearly 600 pages of easy-to-read insight into every verse.

Our offices are closed today but you can reach out to us online@renewingyourmind.org you can also hear Dr. Stroh's teaching on Reffner. That's our 24 hour Internet radio station will also be encouraged by the teaching ministries of Alastair Begg and John MacArthur plus you'll hear audiobooks Bible reading and music you can to then write down when you go to Reffner.FM or when you download the free Reffner app for your Apple or android device Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of legionnaire ministries when you joined us today and on behalf of all of my colleagues. We hope you find rest and comfort in God's truth this day


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