A transformed life… Not a slight transformation – a radical transformation! The power of the gospel! An encounter with Christ that did what no therapeutic professional could accomplish! No other explanation than a God-event – a miracle!
They guy was a “nutso!” They tried to pen him up like an animal – couldn’t do it! Tried to tie him up – even shackle him – and he’d break loose… either he’d tear his flesh or the chains would give. And the screaming… if you were his neighbor it’d keep you up a night… you’d try to keep your kids away from it and shield them. Ran around naked too… What a “basket case!”
Then Jesus showed up… and the guy screamed at Him too. Jesus asked him his name and the voice that came out of his mouth was weird and wild, like a thousand demons! Jesus, with a word, sent the demons that inhabited his body to enter a herd of nearby pigs who then stampeded off of a cliff and drowned themselves in the lake of Galilee.
The results? A life transformed… and I mean transformed! The former deranged man – a danger to himself and everyone else – sitting with Jesus, his deliverer, having an uplifting, conversation in complete sanity!
You would have thought everyone would have been thrilled! But they weren’t… the way the miracle happened scared them. The “pig industry” in the area had been threatened. They didn’t know how to “process the power encounter.” So they asked Jesus to leave.
But the guy whose life had been transformed, wanted to go with Jesus – to leave the town and travel with the Lord. But that wasn’t God’s way – it wasn’t the Lord’s way of doing things! His advice? “Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you!” And the Bible says, “he went, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him!” (Luke 8:38-39)
That’s always been God’s way for those whose lives have been transformed by his power… Get a job, live a transformed life, share your testimony and make a redemptive difference in your community! Makes perfect sense to me! In fact, that’s how other lives are changed! That’s how churches are planted! That’s how the gospel impacts an entire area!