The Strong Man from Gadara, once strong in his own strength and in utter despair, has become strong in the strength of the Lord instead. He has life overflowing and eternal security and peace with God. The story of this one man’s healing ends here in one sense, but has this story really ended?
It is impossible, so removed in time and culture, to know what must have gone through the people’s minds when they saw the truth with their own eyes; but we do have a record of their summary reaction. At some point, they saw or heard enough to draw their own immediate conclusion about Jesus. They begged Jesus to go away from them and leave them alone. But why?
Let’s pause here to consider the events that have just occurred on the coastal mountainside of Gadara. What exactly is happening in the spaces of time that fill out these few paragraphs in the final acts of this story? What can be gleaned from these inferences?
My name is who I am. I may be called one thing by my parents and friends, but I have a name God knows about me that says who I really am inside. I cannot serve God and man, self, or the spirits of this world; I am already choosing one or the other. I wonder, what is my name this moment? Whose am I?
What does matter is that the man was called “possessed by demons” (plural). It wasn’t any one particular sin, but many sins, or just sin in general. We do not think of sin as this powerful, but it is. And there are entities responsible that suck us in and grip like iron.