Jesus frees a demon-possessed man
26 Jesus and his disciples sailed to the Gerasenes’ land, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a certain man met him. The man was from the city and was possessed by demons. For a long time, he had lived among the tombs, naked and homeless. 28 When he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down before him. Then he shouted, “ What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me! ” 29 He said this because Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had taken possession of him, so he would be bound with leg irons and chains and placed under guard. But he would break his restraints, and the demon would force him into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, “ What is your name? ”
“ Legion, ” he replied, because many demons had entered him. 31 They pleaded with him not to order them to go back into the abyss.t32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, 33 and the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who tended the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and told the story in the city and in the countryside. 35 People came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully dressed and completely sane. They were filled with awe. 36 Those people who had actually seen what had happened told them how the demon-possessed man had been delivered. 37 Then everyone gathered from the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave their area because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and returned across the lake. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged to come along with Jesus as one of his disciples. Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “ Return home and tell the story of what God has done for you. ” So he went throughout the city proclaiming what Jesus had done for him.
If the apostle Paul had not punctuated his words with images of the armor of God or the racecourse, would we so easily remember his instruction? The march on Washington might have become nothing more than a ragged hike across a majestic mall if Martin Luther King, Jr. had not led us through a "dream" and onto a "mountaintop."
Such is the power of illustrations. They contain a hidden dynamic of living that captures our attention and furthers our understanding in a way that no other sermonic tool can match. Can they be overused and their purpose abused? Yes--and by many they are. But to eliminate them completely would be unwise, maintains Bryan Chapell.
Instead, he responds to those concerns by reviewing the theory behind illustrations, sharing why they're important, and demonstrating how you can use them effectively in your biblical preaching. This book clearly affirms that illustrations are integral to powerful preaching--not because they entertain but because they expand and deepen applications in the lives of your listeners. They infuse your words with life without comprising the message, making the truth of the Word ring clearly in people's hearts long after your sermon is done.