This is the third part of a blog series on the demonic of the Gadarenes, the best-known instance of exorcism in Scripture. The evening before on the Sea of Galilee a storm had nearly sunk the boat of Jesus and the disciples. Jesus “rebuked” the wind and “said” to the waves, “Quiet. Be still!” and instantly the elements calmed. The verb “rebuked” is the same word from which we get “adjured,” a verb used when Christ spoke to demons. Jesus wasn’t addressing mother-nature. He wasn’t confronting indiscriminate elements. He was commanding the demons that fomented the wind and threatening waves. Christ’s actions were a kind of exorcism.
Once ashore, two naked, violent men with demons approached and asked for His help. The previous blogs discussed several important facts about this confrontation, but here I address a controversy among deliverance ministries. There are those who do believe in the importance of deliverance but insist that demons shouldn’t be allowed to speak or “act up,” as they say. In other words, deliverance to these folks is a one-way monologue that makes subjective assumptions about what demons are there, how they got there, and whether they have actually left. Those who follow this ministry know that we always insist, whenever possible, on objective verification of a demon’s presence and its expulsion.
Notice how Christ dealt with Legion. First Jesus said to the evil spirit, “Come out of this man!” Then Jesus asked the name of the demon. Doesn’t Jesus have this process backwards? And why should He ask the name? He is God and knows everything. Obviously Christ was demonstrating how to do deliverance. When casting out demons, we need to know the name of the demon, and we need to verbally question the demon as part of the procedure. That can only be done by an interrogatory process, not by silent assumptions. The exorcism of the demoniac of the Gadarenes is our teaching model to understand how to do deliverance.