5 They went across the Sea of Galilee to the area of the Gerasenes. 2 Jesus got out of the boat. A man controlled by an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 The man lived in the tombs. No one could keep him tied up anymore. Not even a chain could hold him. 4 His hands and feet had often been chained. But he tore the chains apart. And he broke the iron cuffs on his ankles. No one was strong enough to control him. 5 Night and day he screamed among the tombs and in the hills. He cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran to him. He fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God, what do you want with me? Swear to God that you won’t hurt me!” 8 This was because Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked the demon, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied. “There are many of us.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs. Let us go into them.” 13 Jesus allowed it. The evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs. There were about 2,000 pigs in the herd. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank. They ran into the lake and drowned. 14 Those who were tending the pigs ran off. They told the people in the town and countryside what had happened. The people went out to see for themselves. 15 Then they came to Jesus. They saw the man who had been controlled by many demons. He was sitting there. He was now dressed and thinking clearly. All this made the people afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told them what had happened to the man. They told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to beg Jesus to leave their area. 18 Jesus was getting into the boat. The man who had been controlled by demons begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him. He said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Tell them how kind he has been to you.” 20 So the man went away. In the area known as the Ten Cities, he began to tell how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
It is clear from this passage that an encounter with Jesus is powerful and life changing. This man had tried everything he knew, even the people around him had tried everything worldly wisdom provided to help relieve him of his problems but nothing had worked. The man was destined for destruction. But the encounter with Jesus changed everything. What no man could do was more than possible for the Son of God.
What can I learn? No matter how strong a grip something has on my life or how desperate my situation can be, bringing it to Jesus can completely turn things around and set me free. Secondly, an encounter with Christ does not necessarily mean a call to separate myself from the world. The possessed man in his freedom was called to service in the same area he had experienced his greatest bondage. The call of God on our lives looks different for each one of us.
Heavenly Father, I give my life to you. Help me to surrender everything to you. Help me to be obedient to all that you have called me to. May you be glorified by the way I live. In Jesus Name Amen.
Written by Christine Knight