“So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town.” Luke 8:26-27 (NLT)
We’ve all had the occasional odd first meeting with someone, but this one might take the cake! Step off the boat and a demon-possessed man (naked man, at that) comes running to meet you: “HELLO – I’m the crazy naked tomb runner! Now leave me alone.”
I imagine Jesus not only didn’t flinch in this moment, but that He actually got excited about it – because it was a loud and vivid picture of the reason He came to rescue mankind in the first place.
This guy is about as messed up as a person can get while still being alive (read the whole story here), so while most of humanity isn’t this bad off, we see a few key things here:
- Jesus is in the rescue and redeem all things business. He sets this man free in an instant, then restores him to his right mind, then calls him to be a missionary.
- No one is beyond the reach or power or mercy or unconditional love of Jesus. Wherever you find yourself, regardless of choices, decisions, or things that happened to you – Jesus can reach you, and redeem you fully.
- We are all in need. No person can make it on their own – people cannot fix themselves, save themselves, or even slightly redeem themselves. We have blown it in life and we are in need of a Savior to “make all things new.”
- For those who follow Jesus, this is who and how we are to be – never losing hope for anyone, going after everyone with the message of the Gospel, being unafraid in the face of darkness, and even enjoying the occasional odd first meeting (although, there is nothing wrong with hoping for the person to wear some clothes and not live in a cemetery)
So the Big Question to ask yourself: Am I willing to go – to tell – to reach out – to be used by Jesus to rescue the broken and the lost? If not, am I really following Jesus?
Father God – thank You for sending Your Son to find us, redeem us, then commission us to be a part of Your redemption plan. Help us to live on mission for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.