Jesus, Please Leave! #8

Monday, June 24, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

As far as the record of Scripture is concerned, the Lord Jesus never again set foot on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. They requested His departure—and He obliged. Someone may ask, “What about those there who wanted to believe on Jesus but had not yet heard of Him and never got to meet Him?” Well, the message of Messiah was still proclaimed there, even after His parting.

Now healed, the formerly devil-possessed man wanted to accompany Jesus (Mark chapter 5): “[19] Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. [20] And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” God’s testimony was still there east of the Jordan River, but the Saviour Himself had withdrawn. See also Luke chapter 8: “[38] Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, [39] Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Today, there are various ways to say, “Jesus, please leave!” It can be a lost person mocking God’s preacher and grace doctrine. They prefer their works-religion. Or, it can be individuals who have already believed on Christ as personal Saviour, who hang on to the Law system as means for Christian living. They may even live like the world, quenching or putting out the influence of the Holy Spirit. As the old preacher said, “I went in the world and found the church, I went in the church and found the world!” Sadly, the Lord is often rejected even now….

Jesus, Please Leave! #7

Sunday, June 23, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

Mark chapter 5 says, “[17] And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. [18] And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him…. [21] And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.”

Luke chapter 8 records it like this: “[37] Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. [38] Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, [39] Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. [40] And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.”

Once Christ was asked to leave, He left! Having crossed the Sea of Galilee going eastward and been rejected there, He returned westward by ship. On the western shore, though, “the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him” (Luke 8:40). Dear friends, if there ever were a lesson to learn here, it is this: never, ever are we to waste time with people who do not want to hear the truth. We tell them God’s Word rightly divided, but if they refuse, we need to move on to those who do have a sincere desire to hear and believe. Time is ever so precious, and must be mindful as to how to handle those who reject the Scriptures even now….

Jesus, Please Leave! #6

Saturday, June 22, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

Luke chapter 8 records the miracle of the context of today’s Scripture as follows: “[33] Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. [34] When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

“[35] Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. [36] They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. [37] Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. [38] Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, [39] Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”

The local townspeople hear about the transformation of that wild man who lived among the tombs. In fact, they are so curious they come to see if the news is really true. Yes indeed, there, at the feet of Jesus, sits that man—completely healed! Messiah has arrived, and He is able and ready to deliver them from satanic bondage! Unfortunately, they have no spiritual discernment to recognize the good news. The Bible says “great fear” came on them (verse 37). Unable to appreciate the Lord Jesus, they prefer that He leave them. Like many today, they do not want Him….

Jesus, Please Leave! #5

Friday, June 21, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

In Isaiah chapter 49, after the LORD God issues astonishing promises concerning Israel’s glorious future, a valid objection is raised. Verse 24: “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?” Satan boasts before God that Israel is now his people. Having broken the Mosaic Covenant with their idolatry, they are disqualified from being God’s people (see Exodus 19:5,6). They are Satan’s slaves, and he will not release them. Recall the rampant devil possession during Christ’s earthly ministry! The nation Israel is so thoroughly corrupted with pagan idolatry and false teaching. Indeed, legally, God cannot use them. They have entered into a binding contract, and have utterly failed to stay loyal to the God of their fathers. “Lawfully captive” to Satan, how can they be “delivered?”

Almighty God answers Satan: “[25] But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. [26] And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” 

God will save the children of Israel… somehow. The specifics are not clear to Satan, Isaiah, or anyone else at that time. Looking back, with a complete Bible in hand, we can see Jesus’ crosswork in veiled language in Isaiah 50:1-8. In death by crucifixion, Christ fights to redeem Israel from sin and Satan’s relentless grip. By shedding His sinless blood, He satisfies Father God’s justice, and pays Israel’s sin debt in full. Before this, He performs healing and exorcism miracles (as in today’s Scripture). Prior to Calvary, He demonstrates He can free Israel from the Devil’s clutches….

Jesus, Please Leave! #4

Thursday, June 20, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

Matthew chapter 12 provides the key to understanding exorcisms—the casting out of devils—in Scripture: “[22] Then was brought unto him [Jesus] one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. [23] And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? [24] But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

“[25] And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: [26] And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? [27] And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. [28] But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. [29] Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. [30] He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

Verse 28 claims Jesus and His 12 Apostles performed exorcisms to show Israel God’s earthly kingdom was near. After all, Zechariah 13:2 said Messiah would remove the unclean spirits from Israel’s land. Exorcisms and physical healings were demonstrations of “the powers of the world to come” (Hebrews 6:5), “shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:1). When Jesus cast out the evil spirit in the context of today’s Scripture, how did Israel respond? In celebration and gratitude that Satan had been driven from them? No! Instead they asked Jesus to leave. They disallowed the very Man—the only Man—who could liberate them from satanic bondage….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Philippians 3:14?

Jesus, Please Leave! #3

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

Mark chapter 5 records the event this way: “[7] And [one of the devil-possessed men] cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. [8] For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. [9] And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. [10] And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. [11] Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.”

Notice, Jesus is called here, not merely “Son of God,” but “Son of the most high God” (verse 7). The title “most high” underscores God as “possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19,22). Did you notice how the unclean spirit asked Jesus “not [to] send them away out of the country?” While God is the Creator, it is equally factual that a usurper exists in creation—Satan, the Adversary, the spirit being who said, “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). The Devil desires all creation worship him: therefore, he polluted the nation Israel with false religion. When Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry began, the Israelites are not under God’s control.

These evil spirits know that their purpose (instructions given by Satan himself) is to occupy the land of Palestine. If God’s land is corrupted, it is unusable to Him. Thus, the devils beg Jesus to let them stay in the country, or land. He prefers to cast them out of the men (there were actually two men—see Mark 5:1-20). Christ allows the evil spirits to enter pigs, and they drive the pigs to drown into the sea (presumably the Sea of Galilee). Yes, this is all bizarre to us, but it is quite simple. The devil-possessed man pictures national Israel under Satan’s influence….

Jesus, Please Leave! #2

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

We read today’s Scripture in its context: “[28] And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. [29] And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

“[30] And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. [31] So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. [32] And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. [33] And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. [34] And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.”

Two men possessed with devils are living among the tombs along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. They are “exceeding fierce,” or violent savages. Notice how they prevent anyone from passing. As the Lord Jesus comes, the evil spirits speak through these men: “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” While Israel is largely ignorant of Jesus being the Son of God, Satan and his fallen angelic allies are well aware of that truth!! These unclean spirits reveal that they recognize Christ’s dominion over them….

Bible Q&A #620: “Why did Ezekiel, in Babylon, warn of Jerusalem’s fall?