Summary: The older I get, the more I am encouraged by Jesus through these verses found here in Luke chapter eight.
Encouraged by Jesus
(Luke 8: 26-39)
We live in very troubling times. I don’t remember a time like the days in which we now live. There seems to be trouble everywhere. People are discouraged over the loss of income, loss of homes, family problems, and any number of other things. The older I get, the more I am encouraged by Jesus through these verses found here in Luke chapter eight. I hope that as you read my thoughts, you also will be encouraged.
1. I am encouraged by the concern of Jesus.
Jesus traveled across the sea of Galilee in a storm to deliver this man from the demons. I can imagine how this man must have looked; the Bible says he was naked. He was unshaven, his hair was unkempt, more than likely he smelled like urine or worse, and he was babbling something about Jesus tormenting him.
Most people would have rushed on by. Jesus stopped and asked him his name. The quickest way to show your concern for someone is to ask their name. (Ills.) Since I’ve been working with the Caldwell prison unit, I’ve made it my rule never to ask any of the prisoners their name. Anywhere else, I like to get to know people by their names.
Listen, some of you may think the world has forgotten you. Your friends don’t care; your family doesn’t seem to care like they once did. I have some good news, Jesus cares. Jesus wants to be on a first-name basis with us. That’s encouraging to me.
2. I am encouraged by the power of Jesus.
You understand, don’t you? Satan has the power here. The Bible says he is the Prince of the power of the air. (Eph. 2:2b) Someone has said, after his defeat on the sea, Satan summoned a whole legion of demons to attack Jesus in the country of the Gadarenes.
Satan had this man bound uptight. He took his home, his family, and had him living among the tombs. When Satan gets control of a person, he can make him do anything. We all know that. There is some truth to the old saying, “the devil made me do it.” The Bible says, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1Peter 5:8b)
I want to tell you something. Satan is a wimp beside Jesus. When Jesus comes on the scene, Satan starts begging. He releases his captive and runs and hides. Oh, what a comfort it is that all the powers of darkness are under the check and control of the Lord Jesus! He has them all in a chain. He can send them to their place when he pleases.1
I’ve some good news for you, are you listening? Some of us are bound by Satan’s power with problems and addictions that we can’t seem to do anything about. The counselors can’t help us, but Satan is no match for Jesus. His power can make you what you need to be. His blood can cleanse your soul and set you free, and I’m greatly encouraged by the power of Jesus.
3. I am encouraged by the plan of Jesus.
I have some more good news for you. You are not the only one who messes up. We’ve all messed up. It doesn’t matter how we’ve messed up; Jesus still has plan for our lives. The devil had bound this man for many years. Jesus freed him and gave him a plan for his life. It wasn’t the plan the man wanted. He wanted to travel with Jesus. Jesus said I have a better plan. I want you to stay right here and tell these folks what I’ve done for you. It was a plan that not only brought glory to Jesus, but I’m sure brought fulfillment to the man. Whose plan do you think was best.
Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life even now, but you must let Him free you and then surrender to His plan.
The Gadarenes rejected Jesus and asked Him to leave them. What an opportunity they missed! They had seen a dramatic demonstration of the power of Jesus, but they would not allow it to work in their lives. The people on the other shore were just the opposite: they welcomed Jesus, for they had been waiting for Him.2
1Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Lk 8:22
1Wiersbe, Warren W.: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1997, c1992, S. 167
Original idea stolen from Rev. Bryan Biggers