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April 26, 2022 4:00 am
The system some kind of special training before we can be useful kind of ministry but today on Truth for Life we find out how Jesus made an evangelist out of an unlikely man. After one brief but extraordinary encounter Alastair biggest teaching from chapter 8 of Luke's Gospel versus 26 through 39 location is in the Gentile context, the ins the condition of the man is that he is alienated is alienated from God. He's alienated from others, and he's alienated from himself.
If you if you if you think about the doctrine of reconciliation where Paul says you know I would beseech you on Christ's behalf be reconciled to God, receive the reconciliation with God is provided for you in the gospel who needs to be reconciled. Only those who are alienated if you listen carefully you will hear in the sounds of silence, the great cries of the demons the great cries of lostness.
The great cries of emptiness and our response to them is not to show we quiets what is to say, do you know that there is a reconciliation that is been provided in the person of Christ in the amazing nature of his death for sin as you see what is going to be the key that unlocks the alienation of this man's mind is what Jesus is about to do. When finally all of hell is unleashed against them, and every dark and demonic force is poured out upon them.
As if that would be the end of other than as it proves to be the triumph of his might. So the confrontation is as recorded for us. I just distracting myself in a little bit. I'm sorry but I I am back I'm back on track what you have here is a combination I think of attraction and end of fearfulness on the part of the man Jesus were told has commanded evil spirits come out of the man in the response you see down there in verse 28 makes clear that the forces of evil knew the answer to the question.
The disciples had been asking in verse 25 says is I like little things like this.
I hope you do to live in verse 25 Jesus calmed the sea.
He is come through the storm in order that he can meet this man in the tombs there is a great calm. They were afraid response of his followers to a dramatic display of his power was fearfulness and they said to one another, who then is this, that he commands even when you send water that they obey him. So what they don't know all the demons understand we know who you are is a reminder of what James goes on to write in James to what he says. Even the demons believe and the shutter so you have this direct confrontation. Don't send as they say please don't send us down into the abyss. You take our good concordance and work your way through that. This afternoon, especially if it rains. This is a reference simply to the abode of the dead.
The demon world is aware of the fact that one day in the judgment, their freedom is gone and their doom is sealed question about that and they understand that realizing that they are, then that is the demons face-to-face with the judge. They are obviously afraid that he may choose now to cast them down into the abyss. The man's personality has been so destabilized by the demons that they have usurped the place of the self and the speak through him.
That's why when Jesus in verse 30 says what is your name. He said Legion for many demons at entertainment.
They begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss again. What a tragic picture of this man hopelessness absolutely unable to fix himself or to be fixed by anyone else. Apart from the intervention of he who is the Lord of all the nations well in response to their request. We have the destruction of the pigs and its inside story that obviously gets everybody completely turned up in home Bible study groups and then the demons came out of the man and enter the pigs and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and the drone how how strange is this well. It is quite strange.
It's particularly hard for all pig lovers and I sent some of you some of you have your own private personal pigs are supposed are are completely unsettled by this, but if you if you just hold your fire, I think you'll be okay. Calvin actually suggests it is common to the demons purpose may have been to excite the inhabitants of the country to curse God, on account of the loss of the pigs.
In other words, just to make a confrontation even greater and when we read a little section like this, as we do now. We have to be content to treat the accountants at the level it's offered and not try to address questions or answer questions that it doesn't address this is the great serenity again of those who enduring home Bible studies lose control of the thing at a section like this and somebody asked the question how can animals be possessed in the whole Bible study goes completely out the window at that any notion of the transforming power of Jesus setting somebody free has gone completely south now because we're discussing the nature of the demon possession of animals in Somerset. While I you know we had a German Shepherd that I think was FEMA and its you might as well just close the Bible and and say I will try again next Wednesday but for now, so now why would Jesus allow such use of animals are. What happened to the demons. Where are they now why did the demons feel compelled to indwell something in soul what you do with this. What you do this, what is it what is the gospel writer do what is the gospel writer set out to do what is what is what is Luke set out to do in his gospel what what is that if you like the pivotal point of departure in the unfolding drama of the gospel of Luke. I suggest to you, it is Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth where he grew up being given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah from which to read. Reading these words, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor you sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, old x-rays, liberty to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to say that liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor archways readings read in the Old Testament, and he rolled up the scroll and to get it back to the attendant and he sat down in the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him, sits down in the position of the teacher didn't stand teacher sat down to teach you, sits down he is read from the Bible.
Congregation looks at and says I wonder now how he's going to expound this passage from Isaiah and and none of them go to be ready for what he said and he began to say to them today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your year has been fulfilled in your you know, from that point on in the development of Luke's gospel. Luke is showing us the way in which that is true.
So here in this dramatic confrontation. What you have is a sneak preview. If you're like all the messianic power over evil that one day will be consummated when the lion lies down with the lamb. Therefore, it would be highly it would be very very strange even who then possesses power over all of the forces of nature should not at certain points along the way. Give evidence office, whether it is incoming through the storm and in silencing his raging power, or in confronting this demoniac unhinged and alienated. This year is and magnifying the greatness of his might. So whatever else might be said, we can see that Jesus judged the life the sanity, the wholeness, the conversion of your life of this man to be of significantly more volume than that attached to a herd of pigs right it makes me think about quote from Smita's book on the atonement go something like this but the conversion of a single soul is of greater significance than the eradication of temporal evil from an entire kingdom. The conversion of a single soul is of greater significance than the eradication of temporal evil from an entire kingdom is one for coffee for you to think out so the very front of people would actually have a conversation about 2000 pigs in red in relationship to the eternal destiny of an unhinged man speaks more to our preoccupation with animals and it does and and and indicates how little is our grasp of the nature of the gospel itself is not to be unkind to any wonderful animal lovers that are here II love animals to provide the state in their proper place. So let's just say something concerning the reaction of the people. The reaction of the people. When the herdsman saw what happened. They fled and told it in the city and in the countries of it like yesterday is that the lady goes and she immediately rushes off to let everybody know the dramatic part of Jesus and then, as in John four, when the people came out of Sicard to see what was going on. The people come out here to see what it happened.
They came to Jesus and they found the man from whom the demons are gone. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and as a result of that, they decided that Jesus should stay and have an evangelistic campaign over the next two or three days. No. And they were seized with great fear and they decided that he should leave the region. While it's quite an indication is not of the fight that the impact of the gospel in a life is not immediately met with alacrity is something goes back into his office goes back into the lab was back into the classroom. Once I sort of completely out-of-control character in one direction.
Now he has come or she has come back in a clearly changed the response of people so often is not to say or do.
Tell me how this happened to you.
This is a wonderful thing but is to be seized by fear and to encourage one another stay away from her. She's gone loopy. She's gone strange fire that she was loopy and strange before and is now come to another kind of strange apparently doesn't matter at all. Now you see it is normal for people to be changed like that isn't it was sort of weird that this man who had been so weird would now be so normal you would expect, the people would say somebody who can do something like this for this man that nobody could help. We would like to know this man but that's not what they say they don't immediately on plan, you know, a men's event. Some reasons why this is fantastic.
We can make a buck off.
As you know we lost some money on the page but we can recruit will sell tickets for this. I will will will will have.
I will have a men's event and and will say that will put up posters speaking tonight at the kerosene men's banquet is, you know, Tom, either doing well. Naked naked meal. You will be there in full Technicolor to let everybody know what is wonderfully happened to know it's not happening right out-of-control you would be demon possessed is now the one from whom the demons have departed, you would be naked and out of his mind is no clothing in his right mind you were falling down and shows it in verse 28 is now sitting purposefully at the feet of Jesus and what is happened was the fulfillment of the prophet's words again in the synagogue at Nazareth, the spirit of the Lord is upon me to release their practice. Despite the unambiguous evidence of God's power.
The townsfolk have no interest say that of ridding the region of this radical Jesus gives the light doesn't to the idea that if you do sort of position everything and everybody will be running out to find out what's going on whether or not men and women by nature do not seek thought we run from God. The story of the gospel is not the story is the media represented routinely at the high holidays is aware of religious festival, namely, they will always come up with a story about people are looking for God and God is going on vacation in the refining and somewhere out in the nether regions and apparently his phone is two years no service out there on on on his iPhone but nevertheless the looking for God.
This is the great story of religion, man is out there looking for God is not the great story is that God is out there seeking from Jesus my Savior to Bethlehem came born in a manger to Sorrell and Shea all. It was wonderful. Lastly, his name seeking for me. For me the man on the bed Nick at night. The woman at the well, the guy in the tomb's same story same wonderful story.
Is it your story now a story about religious expectation or hopes or dreams are turning over a new leaf for engaging with Gardner finding yourself for feeling more spiritual now know the radical invasion of God himself. Turning our lives upside down, which, since they are by nature upside down is then to return the right whale suddenly we look at the world in a different way while finally noticed that commission that the man received from Jesus which ran counter to his request. Jesus granted the demons request and he let the demons go into the pigs. He acceded to the request of the townspeople go away from here. But he refuses to grant this man what he asks is no surprise that the man is desirous of sticking with Jesus staying close to Jesus after all he was the one who had brought clarity out of my life of chaos, but were told quite strikingly that Jesus sends him away. But Jesus sent him away. The man from whom the demons are gone bad, that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, but I think is a much better idea if I stay with you, Jesus, and Jesus sent him away. But Jesus all but but but get out of here. But Jesus, I thought your nice person. If your nice person you let me stay with you. Get out of here in the providences of God are seldom self interpreting this man tried to understand his experience in that moment, it made perfect sense to him that he should stay with Jesus, but actually in the providence of God.
He was the first missionary now.
He was the lead was the missionary that was left behind. He had even met Christ on the hillside buddy but he was now going to go back to his stay in his neighborhood and tell others about him. So Jesus leaves, but he leaves them behind one whose transformation would be absolutely obvious to all. He also when he thought about it and when the evil one would come to him and say you know maybe you still are demon's leads lead to lower the what what what wonderful visible picture he had because there he said no, Jesus drowned all the demons he drowned.
Everyone you asked me why I'm happy and I'll just tell you why, because my sins are gone and when I meet with others who asked me where they are. I see my sins are gone there underneath the blood of the cross of Calvary as far removed as darkness is from Dawn in the sea of God's forgetfulness, that's good enough for me. Praise God my sins are God and Jesus gave the misfit stick visible reminder. So when the evil one came and accused said no, no, and Jesus has given to each of us a fantastic visible reminder upon that cross of Jesus. My eye at times can see the very dying form of one who suffered there for me and from my heart with tears, wonders like this. The wonder of redeeming the mile worthlessness story and I'm sticking to it is Jesus. Only Jesus who grants deliverance and gives us a story to tell listing to Truth for Life with Alastair beg Alastair will be right back in just a minute. Close the program with prayer.
Do you have a story to tell.
Were seeing in the series how Jesus breaks down social barriers to seek the lost and the rejected. If you'd like to know more about who Jesus is, what it means to follow him.
We posted a short helpful video on our website that effectively explains the life of Christ, his death and resurrection, and what that means for you. You could watch the video by searching Truth for Life.org/the story Jesus story includes many interesting people. Some, like the man in the tombs were scoundrels who became Saints.
Others claim to be saints, but proved to be scoundrels. We been talking recently about a book titled saints and scoundrels in the story of Jesus in the book author Nancy Guthrie looks at what shaped and motivated a number of key people described in the Gospels.
When you read the book, you'll learn that the people Jesus met have flaws and weaknesses just like we do, how did Jesus respond to their failures.
Request a copy of the book, saints and scoundrels. When you give a email@example.com/donate while you're on the website, you can request a free download of Alistair's audiobook title brave by faith in this book Alastair explores how God worked in the life of Daniel who lived in a culture that opposed God and his word.
The audiobook will help you learn what Daniel learned that God is in control even in a world that denies him double brave by faith and audiobook. It's free firstname.lastname@example.org/brave by faith now hears Alastair to close with prayer. He was enslaved and so are we turned in upon himself and so are we. No one was capable of breaking his bones.
Nor can we only Jesus grants deliverance and only Jesus gives us a story to tell wonderful thought that Jesus went through the storm in order to meet a man whose life was in shreds. In order that once changed he could be an evangelist in his hometown father, thank you for the love that true salvation's plan for the grace that brought it down to man for the mighty golf that you will God's plan at Calvary. Thank you that we do as we say on Sunday morning. Have a story to tell to the nations that will turn their hearts to the right story of peace and gladness, a story of love and light as we read these gospel records we see again and again the way in which you know the Lord of glory, the King of Kings sovereign one.
Establish your power so that one day at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of you will. God our father blesses.
Then as we ponder these things take them to ourselves as we learn how to be better equipped to articulate them in a way that is not cruel, bombastic's sensitive and yet at the same time is absolute yes your help Bob. Thanks for listening. If you are putting together a team or committee.
What kind of people would you be looking for.
Probably not the least, the last of the left out but that's who Jesus seeks to find out more tomorrow.
The Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is for