Pastor James J. Barker

Text: LUKE 8:26-39


  1. Our story begins with our Lord and His disciples arriving "at the country of the Gadarenes," which is on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (8:26).
  2. Luke tells us our Lord was approached by "a certain man, which had devils long time" (8:27).
  3. This is an unusual story that makes some people uncomfortable. But I am convinced that we are seeing an increase in demonic activity today; and it is difficult (if not impossible) to explain what is taking place in society today without believing in the existence of Satan and unclean spirits.
  4. For example, I was greatly moved recently by a video showing the Muslim persecution of Christians in the Sudan. This barbaric persecution and terrorism is a result of the widespread demonism in the Muslim world.
  5. Take one look at these rappers and rock and roll people, and you can see the strong demonic influence. MTV is full of devils. Hollywood and TV are full of devils.
  6. Today psychiatrists and other so-called "mental health professionals" tell us that demonism is a nothing but a disease, but this is not true (cf. 9:1). There is a big difference between demonism and disease.
  7. Demons disturb men physically, mentally, and spiritually. They destroy the souls of men and then lead them off into the eternal fires of hell.
  8. This story of the demon-possessed man of Gadara is very instructive. Let us see what God’s Word has to say about this important subject.



    1. This man that was possessed by devils is a dreadful picture of the degradation of sin. Notice right away, he "ware no clothes" (Luke 8:27). There is a definite connection between nudity and demon-possession. Devils are called "unclean spirits" (8:29) because they specialize in uncleanness – immorality, adultery, fornication, indecency, homosexuality, foul language, dirty jokes, pornography, etc. Millions of lost souls are enslaved by pornography and other sins of the flesh.
    2. People can get drawn into pornography through cable television, videos, sleazy theatres, the internet, magazines, etc. The devil is working overtime destroying lives through pornography. This demon-possessed man "wore no clothes." As Christians we should always dress modestly.
    3. I read an article the other day that said: "In the US, there are more than 650,000 new cases of gonorrhea and 70,000 new cases of syphilis each year. Forty-five million people have chronic genital herpes with one million new cases every year. Chlamydia is increasing at a rate of over three million cases every year. The Human Papilloma Virus, which causes genital warts and cervical cancer, has infected over 20 million American men and women with 5.5 million new cases each year. More than 900,000 Americans now have the killer HIV or AIDS virus with at least 45,000 new cases each year" (Parade Magazine, August 6, 2000, cited by The Lion of Judah, November 2000).
    4. Those who live for sin have no peace in their heart. And this demon-possessed man had no peace in his heart (cf. Mark 5:5). Luke says this man did not abide "in any house, but in the tombs" (8:27). He spent his time roaming naked around the grave yard.
    5. This is a perfect picture of fallen man under the absolute control of Satan – "always, night and day…crying, and cutting himself with stones" (Mark 5:5), being driven here and there by these horrible unclean spirits.
    6. I am speaking of the degradation of sin. Sin produces restlessness (Mark 5:5). "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isa.57:20,21).
    7. Sin leads to restlessness and madness (Mark 5:3-5). There are a lot of people that the world classifies as insane. The world cannot figure out what causes their insanity. They have been to psychiatrists and therapists and social workers. They’ve been doped-up and experimented on and been to all the mental hospitals and insane asylums, and no one can figure out what the problem is. The problem is SIN.
    8. Luke 8:29 says this demon-possessed man "was driven of the devil into the wilderness." Oftentimes he was kept bound with chains and in fetters, but the Bible says, "he brake the bands" (8:29), indicating the supernatural strength of the devils.
    9. We do not know in what way the devil fully gained control of this poor man, but it is evident that somehow he had opened the door to the demonic realm. There are many ways this happens to people:
  • persistent sin – this could include pornography, homosexuality (which leads to more and more wicked perversions), and other immoral behaviour.
  • Drugs – pills, marijuana, crack, etc.
  • The occult world – "Dungeons and Dragons," ouiji boards, fortune-telling, botanicas, Santeria, voodoo, spells, witchcraft, etc.
  • Idolatry – the Bible says there are devils behind idols.
  • Rock music, rap music, MTV, etc.
  • False religions – Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, JW’s, Mormonism, Moonies, Hari Krishna, Scientology, transcendental meditation, etc.
    1. There are many different ways people get trapped by devils, but one thing is clear – it happens when people turn their back on the Lord Jesus Christ – which brings us to our next point.



    1. This poor, wretched, demon-possessed man immediately recognized who Jesus is – "thou Son of God most high" (8:28).
    2. This should come as no surprise to those of us who know the Bible (cf. James 2:19).
    3. Jesus "commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man" (Luke 8:29). Only Jesus, or a Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit, can command an unclean spirit out of a man.
    4. In the book of Acts, we read in chapter 19, verse 13, that "certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them" to cast out an evil spirit. They were unsuccessful (19:13-20).
    5. But when our Lord commanded the unclean spirits to leave, they left. In Luke 8:30, Jesus asked him, "What is thy name?" "And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him."
    6. Our Lord cast the devils out and they entered into an herd of many swine (Mark 5:13 tells us there were about 2,000 pigs in this herd).
    7. These swine would rather drown in the lake than live with devils (8:32,33). One preacher put it this way: "Apparently a self-respecting hog, unlike some people, would rather be dead than demon-possessed!" (G. Coleman Luck). Consider this: Two thousand hogs could not hold the devils (6,000?) that had possessed one man!
    8. Now look at the man that had the devils cast out of him (8:35). He is "sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind" (8:35).
    9. When a sinner gets truly saved, he will sit at the feet of Jesus, he will put some clothes on, and he will be in his right mind.
    10. Beloved, Jesus is the only one who can help a lost soul like this, enslaved by sin, out of his mind, driven by devils naked into the graveyard. Only the Lord can save sinners from Satan’s grip.
    11. Psychiatry cannot help them. Education cannot help them. Money cannot help them. The government cannot help them. Religion cannot help them. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can help them (8:35).



    1. Notice what the unclean spirit through the lips of the man said: "I beseech thee, torment me not" (8:28). Matthew tells us they said: "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matt.8:29).
    2. Satan knows judgment is coming. His fallen angels know judgment is coming. But many sinners live as if there is no judgment coming. They are in for a big shock!
    3. This legion of devils knew that Jesus will soon sit on His throne of judgment, and they know they will soon be cast into hell. But they do not know when that hour of judgment will begin.
    4. These devils feared that our Lord was going to cast them "into the deep" (8:31), the abyss, the bottomless pit. They know they will be going there someday and they are looking for an extension of time.
    5. There’s a day coming when Satan and all his fallen angels will be cast into the lake of fire. And there’s a day coming when all lost sinners will be thrown in there with them (cf. Matt.25:41).


  1. We have been looking at this demon-possessed man, the demons that left him and entered into the herd of swine, and of course, the Lord Jesus. But what about the other Gadarenes?
  2. What was their reaction when they saw this wonderful conversion? Did they fall down at our Lord’s feet confessing their own sins?
  3. No, in fact their response was just the opposite. They told our Lord to get out of town (Luke 8:37). Isn’t it amazing that worldly people are very comfortable around devils and pigs, but very uncomfortable around God.
  4. They would rather have swine (and the money they produced) than Jesus. They should not have been owning swine anyway because this was against the law of Moses. Some sinners do not want Jesus around because they love their sin too much, and their money too much, and the world too much.
  5. What about you, unsaved friend? Will you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour or will you tell Him to go away?
  6. When they told our Lord to depart, He did (8:37b). Our Lord does not stay with people who do not want Him around. If you are not saved, then now is the time to get things right with God.

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