Lessons from a Quarantined Man ~ blog

After the disciples and Jesus survived the storm and safely made it to the other side of the lake life continued with another demonstration of the power of Jesus.

As soon as the bottom of the boat glided onto the soft sand of the shore the disciples knew where they were although none of them had probably ever been there before.

No sooner did Jesus get out of the boat, but a man came running directly toward Him. Several things are worthy to note about this man. First, he was naked.  Second, he was demonically possessed. Third, he had been exiled from his community and had been living in isolation for years.  Fourth, he lived in a graveyard filled with tombs of the dead.

This may be the most pathetic man in all of the Bible. Others often tried to subdue him with chains on his hands and feet. However, the power of the demons in him was so strong that he broke the chains even though they were made out of iron. Night and day, he would wander through the tombs and hills he would wander about, screaming out his pain, and cutting himself with sharp stones.

He was a crazy, demonic possessed, and naked cutter who when he saw Jesus came running straight at Him and screaming. Although I imagine that Jesus was in no way frightened by this man the disciples were hunkered down in the boat watching with eyes the size of saucers and mouths agape.

A conversation begins with the demons inside the man asking;

“What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? 

In God’s name don’t torture me!”

Jesus asks the demon; “What is your name?” And learns from his response that his name is Legion…for there were a number of demons in possession of this man’s body. A Roman Legion was made up of 5,000 men so this man may have been the most tortured man in all of history.

I have to believe that Jesus knew this before the boat ever landed on the shore of Graveyard by the Sea. He went there to deliver this poor mentally deranged and physically abused man who had been cast out of his community and forced to live with the dead in a graveyard with his only company being the thousands of demons living inside and being in control of his mind and ever being abused body.

We all know what happens next.  Jesus casts all of the demons out and sends them into a large herd of pigs who subsequently rush into the lake and drown.  Bad news for the pig farmers who received the news from those watching the events unfold. They rushed to the town to tell the pig owners the bad news.

However, it is the scene we see next that I find wonderful and encouraging.  I imagine they were angry and had every right to feel that way. Their investment in pork had turned into deviled ham and was now dead and bobbing in the Sea of Galilee.

They see this man that they had known sitting at the feet of Jesus. This demonly possessed man that they had banished, shackled in iron chains and rejected into an isolation from hell living naked and bleeding in the graveyard. However, now he is sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.

The response of the crowd seems strange to me.  In seeing this man at the feet of Jesus wearing clothes which were undoubtedly the robe Jesus took off of Himself and put it around his shoulders, caused the people to be afraid and they pleaded with Jesus to leave them at once…which He did.

And as He was getting back into the boat the clothed and in his right mind man pleaded to go with Him.  But Jesus told him he could not go but needed to go back to his people and tell them what Jesus had done for him.

Can you imagine the power of that man’s story as he reentered civilization as a former demonically possessed man who was now clothed and in his right mind? A man set free from bondage to a legion of demons.  And how powerful his story was to the people of his town? And to have his isolation end and to be able to return to his friends and family.  I bet it was a difficult yet joyful reunion.

It is a reunion that can be experienced by all of us who have isolated ourselves and have become addicted to porn and sexual sin. Those who have entangled themselves in the sin that so easily entangles and who live in shame and a graveyard of broken promises.

There is freedom that can be experienced but it will be found living one day at a time and fighting this battle that we are in by using what God has given us to help us find victory.  It can be the result of the power of the Holy Spirit transforming us as we do the work the Bible tells us we need to do if we are going to survive this battle of today.

All of us need to daily offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us.  Then we must walk in the Spirit and choose to follow Him in obedience to His will while saying NO to the sinful desires of our flesh.  And the only way we will be able to do that is by living every day in community with one another and staying in communication with each other when the moments of temptations come.

I hope we all live today clothed and in our right minds by being connected to a community of other believers helping one another walk in purity.

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