When the herdsmen saw [Jesus cast the demons out of the man and they went into the pigs, the herdsmen] fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus' feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.
So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake.
— Luke 8:34-37 NLT
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 demon-possessed man is amazing, it can also be threatening. Someone who can command thousands of demons — and they obey — certainly will have some cleanup work to do in other lives, including mine. So let's be very honest with ourselves today. Do we want Jesus to be in control, or do we want to just 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 surrender fully and wholeheartedly 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 his name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Revelation 3:20-22
- Romans 1:1-5; 14:9
- Philippians 2:5-11
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, May 22, 2023
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.