The men told the story in the fields and in the town. People went out to see what happened. The people came to Jesus and found the man sitting there at the feet of Jesus. The man had clothes on and was in his right mind again; the demons were gone. The people became afraid. The men that saw these things happen told the other people all about how Jesus made the man well. All the people asked Jesus to go away. They were afraid. So Jesus got into the boat to go back to Galilee.
— Luke 8:34-37
Jesus' power can be quite threatening to those who do not know him and are not looking for God's work in their lives. While what Jesus did to liberate this man is amazing, it is also threatening. Someone who can command thousands of demons and they obey certainly will have some clean up work to do in other lives, even mine. So let's be very honest with ourselves today. Do we want Jesus to be in control, or do we want to play the religious game? Jesus will leave us alone to fend for ourselves against the forces of evil if we choose to ignore, dismiss, or reject him. While he longs to save, he will not force himself on us. True deliverance comes to only those who are willing to fully and wholeheartedly surrender to his grace and find their freedom and peace in him.
Father, my prayer is that the commitment reflected by the words of the old hymn is truly reflected in my life; "All to Jesus, I surrender; all to him I freely give." Please help me as I surrender my will to your Son. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Jesus and his followers sailed on across the lake. They sailed to the area where the Gerasene people live, across from Galilee. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man from that town came to Jesus. This man had demons inside him. For a long time he had worn no clothes. He lived in the caves where dead people are buried, not in a house. The demon had often seized him. The man had been put in jail, and his hands and feet had been tied with chains. But the man would always break the chains, and the demon inside him would force him to go out to the places where no people lived. Then Jesus commanded the evil spirit (the demon) to come out of this man. The man fell down before Jesus and shouted with a loud voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, don't punish me!" Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" The man answered, "Legion." (He said his name was "Legion" because many demons had gone into him.) The demons begged Jesus not to send them into eternal darkness. On that hill there was a big herd of pigs eating. The demons begged Jesus to allow them to go into the pigs. So Jesus allowed the demons to do this. Then the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs. The herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs drowned. The men that were caring for the pigs ran away. The men told the story in the fields and in the town. People went out to see what happened. The people came to Jesus and found the man sitting there at the feet of Jesus. The man had clothes on and was in his right mind again; the demons were gone. The people became afraid. The men that saw these things happen told the other people all about how Jesus made the man well. All the people asked Jesus to go away. They were afraid. So Jesus got into the boat to go back to Galilee. The man that Jesus healed begged to go with Jesus. But Jesus sent the man away, saying, "Go back home and tell people what God did for you." So the man went all over town telling whatJesus had done for him.
Related Scripture Readings
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If a person hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person. And that person will eat with me. "I will let every person that wins the victory sit with me on my throne. It was the same with me. I won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. Every person that hears these things should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches."
Greetings from Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus. God called me to be an apostle. I was chosen to tell God's Good News to all people. God promised long ago to give this Good News to his people. God used his prophets to promise this. That promise is written in the Holy Scriptures. The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a person, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness Jesus was shown to be God's Son. He was shown to be God's Son with great power by rising from death. Through Christ, God gave me the special work of an apostle. God gave me this work to lead people of all nations to believe and obey God. And I do this work for Christ.
Romans 1:1-5; 14:9
In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. Christ was equal with God. But Christ did not think that being equal with God was something that he must keep. He gave up his place with God and agreed to be like a servant. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God. He obeyed even when that caused him to die. And he died on a cross. Christ obeyed God, so God raised Christ to the most important place. God made the name of Christ greater than every other name. God did this because he wants every person to bow for the name of Jesus. Every person in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth will bow. Every person will confess (say), "Jesus Christ is Lord (Master)." When they say this, it will bring glory to God the Father.