Summary: In Luke 8:26-39 we meet a madman who lived naked and homeless in a graveyard. Not only does this story show us Jesus’ power over evil but in makes the point that no one is beyond God’s redeeming grace.
“Are We God’s Hubcap?”
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN
Why are we here this evening?
Why are we not doing what many of the people in our community are doing right this moment?…
Watching t-v, heading to the movie theatre, whatever…
Could it be that something has happened in our
…something so great…
…that we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else?
Or could it be that we are searching for something…
…something we have seen in others, something we know exists, but have not yet experienced for ourselves?
What is your answer or reason for being here?
In our Gospel Lesson for this evening Jesus is meets a demon-possessed man who wants nothing to do with Jesus.
He is afraid of God.
The presence of the Holy for him is a tormenting thing.
But in the later part of our Lesson we see a new man.
Legion is healed.
He is sitting at the feet of Jesus, not because he has to—but because he would not want to be anywhere else.
He’s hanging out with Jesus and he’s relaxed…perhaps for the first time in his life.
He is no longer fearful of God.
And he even begs Jesus to allow Him to come with Jesus onto the next town and the next and the next.
How many of us were like Legion before we were healed by Christ?
In our communities this evening, many people are like Legion before salvation.
They aren’t comfortable with God.
God is a fearful thought to them.
And yet, in our society there are many folks who are searching for something.
Notice how many “religious” people there are!
People are into gurus, transcendental meditation, Scientology, voodoo, witchcraft, and drugs.
The very fact that people are searching is proof that there is a void in their lives, for no one seeks for what he or she already has.
The word “religion” is a Latin word.
It comes from the root “to bind back.”
Thus, when a person is religious, he or she is trying to “bind” him or herself back to God—to patch things up.
But, of course, we cannot do this on our own.
If we are to be “put right” with God, we must allow God to do the work!
A man driving along the highway heard a strange clang, but he ignored it and kept on driving.
When he got home he realized that one of his hubcaps was missing.
Two weeks later, while driving home along that same stretch of highway he noticed his hubcap propped up on the side of the road.
Stopping to get it, he found a note attached.
It read, “I’ve been looking for you!”
The human race is like that lost hubcap!
We have no way to bind ourselves back to God…
…unless God comes looking for us.
And this is the Good News of God!!!
God is searching for us all!!!
Jesus came looking for Legion.
Jesus bound Legion back to God, and Legion is no longer lost.
Instead, he sits relaxed and attentive…
…even excited, at Jesus’ feet!
At first glance, it may seem very odd to us that Legion was not overjoyed when he first met Jesus.
Legion was naked and unwashed.
He had no home, but lived alone in a cemetery, chained there by townspeople who were at their wits end with how to deal with him.
“Many times…” Legion “had broken his chains”… but the demon drove him into even more horrible situations.
What a miserable existence!!!
We can almost feel the self-loathing Legion must have had.
And this is the case with many folks in our neighborhoods.
As humans, we are a hunted species, and we are often our own predator.
Ours is a generation of self-inflicted wounds.
Norman Rockwell has a painting of a little girl sitting in front of a mirror.
A movie magazine is in her lap and it’s open to a picture of her favorite star.
And as she compares what she sees in the mirror to what she sees in the magazine she frowns.
It is a tragedy to go through life disliking ourselves.
Salvation, for Legion, not only meant a new relationship with God, it meant a new relationship with himself!!!
When Legion learned that God accepted him, then Legion began to accept and love himself!!!
And his self-inflicted wounds began to heal!!!
Legion’s relationship with other people were healed as well!!!
Christ bound Legion back, not only to God and self, but to his neighbors as well!!!
Christianity isn’t just about “me and my God.”
It’s about “my neighbor” too!!!
Christianity binds us back to our
It brings us out of our solitary graveyards, and into the center of the LIVING!!!
How exciting is that?