When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man … When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8.27-37.
What a picture of total transformation. This wretched man starts off naked and ends up clothed; starts off mad and ends up sane; starts off isolated in a cemetery and ends up in community; starts off tormented by demons and ends up in peace at the feet of Jesus. It was a transformation of body, mind and spirit. How wonderful! Yes, but not everyone thought so. The villagers wanted rid of this man who could bring about such change, so quickly. The Message paraphrase of verse 37 says: “too much change, too fast”.
It makes me think about how much I really want Jesus to change me. Of course I’m happy for him to change the things I want changing, but am I prepared to let him change other things that he knows need changing but that I’m really quite comfortable with?
I note three things concerning change in this passage. Jesus knew what needed changing in Legion … as soon as he saw him he knew what this man was meant to be. Jesus knew how to bring about the change … he knew that in this instance it was a demon or demons that needed to be expelled. Jesus had the power to do what was needed … a word spoken with authority and the demons fled.
He knows what changes are needed in me. He knows how to bring those changes about. He has the power to do what is necessary. Will he change me? Dare I trust him to do so? As I thought about this man called Legion, God once gave me a poem … a kind of rap … about him. I called him Mob. You can read the poem under Marmalade.
Lord, do whatever it takes to get me sitting at your feet, dressed, and in my right mind. Amen.