Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him, out of the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
This story in the ministry of Jesus is one that we have read often. We usually read it through the lens of the miracle of the deliverance of the man from the demons and we should because it is miraculous. But this time through the passage the Lord revealed something new to me. As we see in verse 6, when the demon possessed man saw Jesus he ran and fell at His feet and in verse 7 he cried out “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” At just the sight of Jesus, the demons fell at His feet and asked Him what He would do with them. Demons, henchmen for Satan, some of the vilest creatures in all existence knew the power and authority and the Lordship of Jesus and they fell at His feet! They had no choice in the matter. They were overcome by the power of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords before he had ever spoken a word. It had to be an amazing thing to bear witness to.
Here’s where my heart broke. It made me realize that we, I, don’t always recognize the same power, authority, and Lordship that Jesus deserves and has earned. I realized that my submission to those things isn’t always what it should be. How can we, I, be like that? Jesus laid down His life to pay the ransom for our sin and our shame. He paid the price so that we could be reconciled to God and that we would have redemption. We should be the ones that fall at His feet and say “Jesus, do with me as You will, my life is Yours.” But far too often, that’s not our response to His presence. That’s not our response to His authority. Jesus outlines what our response to Him should be in Mark 8, 34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Our response must be to deny ourselves and follow Him. We have to bow and ask, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, thank you for loving me when I was unlovable. Thank you for your patience when I go my own way. Thank you for your grace that receives me back each time that I return broken and beat up. Jesus, thank you for the sacrifice of Your life on the cross. Thank you for being the way when we had no way to be reconciled to God. Forgive me when I choose not to bow and follow. Holy Spirit, guide and direct me to be a person that has not only encountered You, but walks in step with You. Convict me when my flesh overrides and I take control of my life and situations. Lead me, O God in all Your ways. It is in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”