They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When 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. When 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!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Luke 8:26-28
What is the day going to bring us? When Jesus went sailing to the other side of the lake, he was probably thought he was going there to spread the gospel in other towns. Instead, the first thing that happened when he got out of the boat was that a naked crazy man came up to him.
Jesus could see in an instant that this man has an unclean spirit in him, and that was his first concern, to get the unclean spirit out. It wasn’t even a question of healing someone who is physically disabled. It was perhaps even worse, a vile spirit cohabiting with someone’s soul, hijacking him and causing him to hurt himself over and over again.
When I see people who are messed up, hurting, is that my first impulse, to pray for them, that the torments of Satan could be exorcized from their lives? I think I would have been caught up in how uncomfortable the demon possessed man made me feel. It’s easy to interact with nice civilized people who seem to have it all together. But those who have a screw loose, those who have been damaged by the world and are dysfunctional — I can find reasons not to interact with them.
And do I remember that Jesus has power over evil? It may control people, but Jesus can say the word, and it is gone! The situations that seem so hopeless to me are not hopeless to him. Now it is true that the hearts of people can be hard. This is not something that God usually changes in an instant. But He can vanquish the powers of Satan in a situation at any time.
What was the demon possessed man experiencing? He didn’t want to live among the tombs, cutting himself, but he couldn’t help himself. He was completely trapped. Yet one morning, he found himself walking along the shore of the lake, and he saw a boat far away, coming his way. Who was it? The boat held a man who would be the solution to all of his problems. God sent him a way out.
The power I have through Christ is unimaginable. Through Him I can free people who are trapped. I am Christ’s ambassador. I am the person in the boat, the person sent by God that they need.
All of my life is a love story. Everything that has happened to me has been God working his love in my life. And the demon possessed man had a love story too. This passage in Luke is the only part we know, but it is a tale that has impacted men through the ages, that a man would be trapped and hopeless, in pain, and God would care enough to send Jesus across the lake at just the right time.
What will today bring me? I have my agenda, and God has his. Will I see the people who meet me as those who God has put in my path for a reason, or will I see them as interruptions? Will my first thought be to rid them of what is plaguing them? Or will I just see the things about them that make me uncomfortable? Will I realize the power I have to help them get rid of the evil that has a hold on them?
God is writing his love story with mankind every day. Will I advance the story, help write more pages that include more people? Will people look back and say, “THAT was the day my life began to change.”