What a Difference Jesus Makes

Recently, Jesse and I read the account of the demon-possessed man in Luke 8:26-40: I like to call him the Miserable Man.  Miserable is a good word to use here for it means abject; forlorn; unhappy: mean; worthless; wretched.  The Miserable Man lived among the tombs, he wore no clothes and the unclean spirit that possessed him often kept him in chains.  He was in horrible bondage and the Bible says he had been this way a long time.

Jesus comes along and the unclean spirit knows who he is without a doubt.  Verse 28 says: “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?  I beseech thee, torment me not.”  Not only does the unclean spirit declare who Jesus is but it begs him for mercy.

Jesus asked, “What is thy name?”  “Legion” is the reply… for many devils were entered into him.  Here again, they acknowledge the power of Jesus for they begged him not to command them to go into the deep, but to go into a herd of swine.  It is important to note that the devils know that Jesus has all power and must be obeyed.

Jesus allows them to enter the swine.  Upon entering, the swine run violently down a steep place into a lake and died.  This brings great fear on those watching the swine and it is told to others in the area.  Verse 35 tells how the people came to see what had transpired and they find the man sitting at the feet of Jesus; he is clothed, and in his right mind.  When a person truly meets Jesus there will be a remarkable difference.  This man’s life was completely altered.  He is now in the right place, the right way, and in his right mind.

“Therefore if a man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  2 Corinthians 3:17

The people of the country were afraid when they saw what was done and asked Jesus to leave.  The man asked to go with him but Jesus told him to return to his own house, and show what great things God hath done unto him.  The man obeyed for he went his way and told everyone in the city “how great things Jesus had done unto him.”  His powerful witness helped change their fear to glad anticipation.  When Jesus later returned verse 40 says, “…the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.”

One of the things I love the most about this account is how the man responds to Jesus.  He wants to be with him!  All of us who have come to the saving knowledge of God – who know him as Savior – should desire to be with him.  Jesus sends the man home to share what great things God had done for him.  The man not only obeys but he goes and tells the whole city.  His witness is so effective that the people who have just sent Jesus away are now waiting for him to return and they gladly receive him.

Our witness should cause others to desire Jesus.


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