Chapter

Luke 8:38

ESV The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
NIV The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
NASB But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but Jesus sent him away, saying,
CSB The man from whom the demons had departed begged him earnestly to be with him. But he sent him away and said,
NLT The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying,
KJV Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

What does Luke 8:38 mean?

Jesus has rescued a man from possession by a legion of demons. Luke's wording is poignant; at the beginning of the story, he was "a man from the city who had demons" (Luke 8:27). Now he is "the man from whom the demons had gone." That very transition has frightened the people of the surrounding countryside and city, and they ask Jesus to leave (Luke 8:36–37). The man who was rescued wishes to stay with Jesus and follow Him as a disciple.

Luke has finished the story of Jesus and the people of the region: they asked Him to leave, and He did. Now, Luke backtracks to describe how Jesus and the man He rescued part ways as Jesus enters the boat (Mark 5:18).

For some time, the man has been either tied up and under guard or living in the tombs, raging, and cutting his flesh with stones (Luke 8:27, 29; Mark 5:3–5). He had been imprisoned in the presence of demons; now, he wishes nothing more than to stay with the man who saved him. Yet Jesus has other plans for him. The man may not know all the theological implications of who Jesus is, but he knows what Jesus did for him. He's in a perfect position to tell his story to these terrified people and prepare them for Jesus' eventual return (Matthew 15:29–39; Mark 7:31—8:10).
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