This story of a man possessed by an evil spirit is one of many such encounters in Jesus’ ministry. Frankly, in modern times we are puzzled as we read such accounts.
And we are somewhat surprised by the matter of fact manner in which demon possession is presented in the Bible. It seems that in Jesus’ day, such things were not all that unusual.
As we strain to get a handle on this we may feel like my friend who often says of complex things – I don’t understand all I know about it!
Some have suggested the more visible demon activity during Jesus’ ministry allowed Him to show His power over the forces of evil. Jesus certainly demonstrated absolute authority over demons!
Attempting to explain the relative absence of such things today, others have observed that perhaps the death and resurrection of Jesus inhibited the powers of darkness. This is a comforting thought!
And how did people come to be demon possessed? We are not told.
One thing is certain. However a person came to be demon-possessed, the result was de-humanizing. There was an aspect of enslavement of the person and an aura of helplessness associated with it.
Only Jesus easily released those afflicted, usually with just a simple command – Come out of him!
Those victims perfectly mirror our lack of power to overcome the consequences of sin in our lives. Only with the coming of Jesus are we released from enslavement by the forgiveness and power He brings!
Are people demon-possessed today? Certainly not in the number or to the outwardly observable degree we see in the Bible accounts.
Can forces of evil get a kind of strangle-hold on our lives today? Probably so, if we habitually cooperate! But if we turn to Jesus and trust in Him, we have nothing to fear.
Perhaps this is enough to know…all we really need to know for now.