I have long been acquainted with this man’s plight. None of us ever think we are so bad as this but when I read this story I feel like it describes me better than any other. Of course, this is a looking back on my life rather than having noticed this about myself. You probably have apprehensions whether to continue reading after hearing this and I wouldn’t blame you. I didn’t like what I saw in my past either.
I can’t describe how my life relates exactly to this poor man but I feel a deep sense of compassion for him. I would have wanted to help him through it all but I know, like myself, he needed Jesus to step into his life and perform a miracle. The sheer power of Jesus and the gospel in this story are put on display and gloriously amazing.
I was fortunate to have met a man by the name of Richard Owen Roberts. I had read one of his books on revival and was able to attend a revival that he was preaching. After the service, some of us had the opportunity to have coffee together at one of the local restaurants. I had planned only to listen. I was too nervous to say anything. But after some time of various conversations, he asked me what my story was.
I began to relate to him how I had went through repeating the prayer and being baptized about three times but by God’s grace had come to realize that I had never really repented and followed Jesus. I somehow had in my mind that the prayer (or incantation) would fix me and keep me from perishing forever. I really never wanted to follow Jesus. The best I can remember, I wanted to be saved and do whatever I wanted.
After relating my story to him, he was thrilled to hear how the Lord had saved me. And then he said something like this: “A thousand demons were overpowered when Jesus saved you.” I think he means to say that the enemy had me pretty wrapped up in myself and very confused (blinded, actually) about my identity and salvation. The god of this world did not win. God turned the Light on and darkness scattered.
When the Gerasene Demoniac encounters the Son of God and is freed from the powers of evil, the image of him…sitting…clothed…in his right mind causes me to weep. I’m so thankful he is free! I am so thankful that I am free! I’d like to meet this man someday. I think we will have many things in common.
My tears only increase as I read, for when he wants to go…be…with Jesus my heart begs for Jesus to allow him to accompany them. Yet, Jesus has something for him to do. This man has a story to tell. Christ sends him to the Decapolis to tell them how God had mercy on him. Though the people of that area asked Jesus to leave, they did not ask this man to leave. But Jesus remained there by leaving himself in this new believer.
The next time Jesus embarks on their shores things were very different.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.(Mk. 6:53-56)
I can’t help but think this had much to do with the witness he left in this changed man! He was a new creation! He was different, to say the least. I bet, however, that some who recognized this man as the one from the tombs were still afraid of him and would not listen to his story of the gospel. We must remember, they/we do not believe the gospel because we SEE a miracle but rather when the miracle happens to us!
Have your chain fallen off? Is your heart free? Are you following Jesus? You can be free today! SEE Jesus…repent and believe and follow! Let this be the new song of your soul!