“When he saw Jesus he screamed, fell before him, and bellowed, ‘What business do you have messing with me? You’re Jesus, Son of the High God, but don’t give me a hard time!’ (The man said this because Jesus had started to order the unclean spirit out of him.)” Luke 8:28 (The Message)
A lot of us have friends or family who just invite themselves over. The truth is some of us are those people (I certainly was growing up and while in college – I just assumed every household wanted me hanging out with them, while eating all their good food).
Then, there are those times when people we don’t know (or don’t even really care too much for) those who invite themselves to invade our world. “How Rude!” we think to ourselves.
So here’s Jesus, fully invading this man’s privacy – stepping into his space – inviting Himself over without the slightest welcome or desire from this messed up, demon-possessed man.
The demons in this man spoke to Jesus and basically said, “we really don’t want You in our business – go away!” And while this is a highly unlikely picture of life today, it still exists in those who do not yet know Jesus. The truth is, until we say yes to life in Him, we are against Jesus, so when He comes for us, our flesh fights it. There is a battle between Light and dark, Life and death.
The cool part of any story involving Jesus is that He Always Wins! So when Jesus invites Himself in, there will be an eternally life-altering change in play.
What this story we read here means to those who follow Jesus is that we need to be willing, active, and pursuant in inviting ourselves into the lives of others in order to show and share the truth of Jesus with them, inviting them into this life. We don’t push and prod and poke into everyone’s life – we’re not to be bullies or obnoxious, but we do need to look for opportunities, pray for opportunities, be listening to the Holy Spirit in us to step into opportunities, and actually do it.
If I’m not doing this, I’m not acting like Jesus. If I sit back and say “if people want to know, they’ll come ask me,” I’m not acting like Jesus. How about you? Being fully honest with yourself, what are you doing – to love the world?
God help me to step into the lives of others, just like Jesus did. Jesus grow me in my compassion and unconditional love for this world. Holy Spirit, teach me to listen to You speak to me and step out in greater boldness – In Jesus’ name, Amen.