Jesus and His disciples had already been through one ordeal that day. While sailing across the Sea of Galilee, their ship ran into a great tempest and Jesus had to miraculously calm the sea in order to save them all. Now, having arrived at the other side, in the country of the Gadarenes, they walk into the midst of another storm, this one of a human nature.
The man who approaches them is quite a sight. He is naked and bleeding from cuts all over his body. He has been living in the tombs (caves) where dead bodies are buried. When he sees Jesus, he begins to cry out in a loud voice. (See Mark 5:1-5, Luke 8:26-27).
It turns out that the man is possessed by demons and these demons know who Jesus is. In a loud, eerie, possessed-like voice, the man exclaims, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not” (Luke 8:28).
There are actually thousands of demons possessing this man but, not to worry, the Son of God is still stronger. In a spectacular scene, Jesus orders all of the demons to depart from the man and they enter a nearby herd of about 2,000 swine who stampede down the mountain and drown in the sea. (See Mark 5:9-13, Luke 8:30-33, Matthew 8:30-32).
It’s a happy ending for this man after Jesus rescues him from being possessed by the devil. We later see him clothed and in his right mind, with those who knew him wondering how such a mighty change could have occurred. We see him desiring to follow Jesus. We see that he has a great testimony which the Lord encourages him to share:
“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee” (Mark 5:19)
For those of us who once were ensnared by sin, we have a similar testimony to this man. While we were living a sinful life, we belonged to (you could say, we were possessed by) the devil. But, praise God, the day came when Jesus came our way and cast out whatever our demons may have been and took possession of our lives. So, now we belong to Jesus!
The effect on our lives is similar to what happened to the possessed man above. The life we led before was left behind. Those who knew us wondered how such a change occurred in us. We have a desire to follow Jesus. And, we have that same great testimony to share with others about what the Lord has done for us.
Now that we belong to Jesus, we do need to heed one warning — Let’s not give the enemy (or any other entity in the world) the opportunity to repossess us. For example:
- At times, you may be made to feel like a possession of the company you work for. Don’t let them do that to you. The company doesn’t own you. You belong to Jesus.
- You may belong to a wonderful family — this is a great blessing. However, you first belong to Jesus (and can praise the Lord for your wonderful family).
- You may be the type of person who wants to feel like nobody owns you. It’s up to you if you want to feel that way, but keep in mind that the devil has ownership rights to all free agents at end of life.
It’s a great blessing to belong to the Lord, to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Jesus loves us so much that He paid the ultimate price (His blood) in order to possess us. If we have to be owned by someone, there’s nobody better. As the hymn goes, “I’m bound by His love, I don’t want to be free.”
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.