Daemon Legion

Legion

My church is doing a study in angelology starting this coming Sunday.  I think that we do think too little about angels.  The Bible clearly indicates that there are wars in the spiritual realm that we do not see.  The first battle I am aware of was when the archangel Michael took on Lucifer and a third of the angels and they were thrown to earth.  The fallen angels are the daemons who wander looking for people or places to control.  I believe demons are very well organised but are hateful.  I think that C. S. Lewis was correct to write a story where the Satanic hierarchy is compared with a modern beaurocracy.

In today’s story a legion of daemons possess an unfortunate man and then possess pigs that charge to their deaths.  This shows the destructive and malevolent intent of Satan and his daemons.  Although they may promise power it comes at too high a price.

Luke 8:26-39

 26They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[b] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29For Jesus had commanded the evil[c] spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

 30Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

   “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

 32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

 34When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

 38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

Questions

  1. To what region did Jesus sail?
  2. What did the man plead with Jesus upon his arrival?
  3. What does the casting out of a legion of daemons show?
  4. What is your view of the daemonic?
  5. Is it possible for a Christian to be possessed?

Going Deeper

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSy7DldFdUI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZfg57LZ34g&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X921H33E-6o

Real or fake?

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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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4 Responses to Daemon Legion

  1. joshua price says:

    What texts would you cite to support your supposition of any Lucifer character or a battle in Heaven with Michael?

    Outside of Ezekiel and Isaiah (which seem to be oracles or prophecies against the kings of Babylon and Tyre), I don’t know of any other support for a past conflict… or a specific Lucifer.

    Are you referring to the future dust-up in Revelation?

  2. joshua price says:

    In Isaiah, the Hebrew is literally “O son of the dawn!”

    Not a proper name, but possibly a title. In this case, my contention would be that it is a sarcastic title, intended to belittle and poke fun at “the king of Babylon” (verse 4).

    Ezekiel 28, the other taunt taken to be directed at the mythical “son of the dawn,” is clearly pointed at “the Prince of Tyrus” (verse 2). I don’t think God is above straightforward mocking in this prophecy.

    Adding one more small point, calling a human a “cherub” did not carry with it the notion of angel that we carry from Western culture. Cherubim are also said to exist in Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian texts… perhaps Egyptian too. They look like sphinxes with generally a head or upper body of a person, wings, and the lower body of a cow, or lion, etc.

    They were sacred guardians of things, but more mythic creatures than human-shaped, robed beings with harps.

    • Plymothian says:

      I have heard the various interpretations from Isaiah and Ezekiel (probably from the same place). However, I am probably citing a confused and confusing church tradition because I have never taken classes in angelology or really stopped to think about the texts too hard. And yes, I would have interpreted the passage in Revelation as past.

      So, you are probably ahead of me on this one, Josh.

  3. joshua price says:

    Yeah… I didn’t take any angelology courses either… Summer did, and I think they fell back on the confusing church tradition as well.

    I think I owe my demolition of a fantastically personal and mythical Lucifer with a complex path and fascinating story arc to Dr. Walton.

    Can’t remember if it was Pentateuch or what, but it probably came in the conversation about the serpent in the garden.

    Anyways, never to fear… that interpretation will long outlive you and me. It is hundreds and hundreds of years old, right?

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