“When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes masked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.”
Luke 8:34–37 ESV
Remember this crazy story in Luke 8?
Jesus casts out the demons who said, “My name is Legion for we are many.”
For years, the man they’d possessed was violent, naked, and unnaturally strong.
He terrorized that area like a feral animal.
After Jesus cast the demons out, the people found him “clothed and in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus.”
You’d think that guy would’ve had friends and family in that crowd… So naturally everyone would be all hugs and high-fives, right?
…but they’re not happy at all!
The passage says they were terrified and begged Jesus to leave them.
This is so weird until we see two deeper truths at work.
Do we really want Jesus’ freedom?
#1. When Jesus sets us free there may be a great cost to a life area that has a death drip on us.
In this case, Jesus cast the demons *out of the man* and into a herd of about 2,000 pigs. The pigs went mad, stormed off a steep cliff, and drowned themselves.
The spiritual renewal came at a cost to their finances.What did the people want more? Freedom in Jesus or comfort in their idols? Click To Tweet
I’m asking myself that same question this morning. What do I value more, freedom in Jesus or my idols?
When Jesus shows up, get ready for your life to change!
Do we know Jesus’ power and his goodness?
#2. The people saw Jesus’ power, but not his goodness.
John Calvin wrote:
“We learn how wide is the difference between the knowledge of the goodness, and the knowledge of the power, of God. Power strikes men with terror, makes them fly from the presence of God . . . but goodness draws them gently, and makes them feel that nothing is more desirable than to be united to God.”
If we don’t see God’s goodness alongside his power, we miss the great adventure the begins in his presence.
It reminds me of Lucy and Susan’s conversation with Mr. Beaver about Aslan in “The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe”.
Jesus isn't safe, but he's good. Click To Tweet
Susan asked, “Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver. “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Let’s embrace his freedom at any cost. And let’s be drawn by his power and goodness.