Wednesday, March 31, 2010



As we proceed through chapter 8 of Luke we come to verse 26 where Jesus encounters the wild man from the land of the Gerasenes on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.

They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demonized 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 evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demonized man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

We've looked at this story recently and it always speaks to me of transformation. There are four phases in genuine transformation that comes through Jesus:

FIRST-You have to be in real trouble. Maybe you aren't as bad off as this man, but everyone of us has a desperation factor from time to time. Just last night we were discussing with some friends how amazing denial is within a family. Well, this man was not in denial about his alienation and there was no family member left to cover up for him. He was just too far gone.

SECOND-Jesus must intervene within your desperation.

THIRD-Just about everything is transformed from the inside out. In this case the demonized man was sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind. His insanity was turned into sanity. In his insanity he was repulsive; and now he is attractive.

FOURTH-Because of the demonized man's story, his entire village heard the good news of Jesus. He couldn't get enough of hanging out with Jesus and begged to be able to go on the road with Him. Jesus sent him right back to his people.

Now, note something here. This transformed man didn't go to his people and condemn them. He didn't go to them and try to straighten out their belief system. He simply and persuasively told all who would listen about what Jesus had done for him.

This must be our focus, too. We must be about sharing what Jesus has done on our behalf. It's not the program; it's the person of Jesus that matters most. Let me ask you something. What has Jesus done for you lately? Are you able to identify the Jesus factor in your life? Can you see yourself sharing this with another friend? Then think and pray about going back home and wait for the opportunities to do so. Remember, God sets up the appointments. All you have to do is SHOW UP.