Summary: What happens when we are healed!
SERMON: LUNATICS FOR JESUS!
Scripture: Luke 8:26-39
They sailed on to the country of the Gerasenes, directly opposite Galilee. As Jesus stepped out onto land, a madman from town met Him; he was a victim of demons. He hadn’t worn clothes for a long time, nor lived at home; he lived in the cemetery. When he saw Jesus he screamed, fell before Him, and bellowed, “What business do you have messing with me? You’re Jesus, Son of the High God, but don’t give me a hard time!” (The man said this because Jesus had started to order the unclean spirit out of him.) Time after time the demon threw the man into convulsions. He had been placed under constant guard and tied with chains and shackles, but crazed and driven wild by the demon, he would shatter the bonds.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
"Mob. My name is Mob,” he said, because many demons afflicted him. And they begged Jesus desperately not to order them to the bottomless pit.
A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged Jesus to order them into the pigs. He gave the order. It was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the lake and drowned.
Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had been sent, sitting there at Jesus’ feet, wearing decent clothes and making sense. It was a holy moment, and for a short time they were more reverent than curious. Then those who had seen it happen told how the demoniac had been saved.
Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave—too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off. The man whom He had delivered from the demons asked to go with Him, but Jesus sent him back, saying, “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him.
The crux of this story, to me, is found in the last two sentences of the narrative. Jesus said to the man whom He had healed, “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him.
You have to love the ending to this story. The lunatic, made well, just goes and does what Jesus tells him to do! Simple enough. Just do what you are told! That's the military way, you know. Just do what you are told, and you will get along fine, with everyone.
Sarah MacLaughlin wrote, "Do you want to be told what to do? I haven't found a single person who likes it. Whether you're 4 or 40, it's generally not a favorite."
I think her line, 'it's generally not a favorite,' is perhaps one of the most understated viewpoints one would ever want to read! I think, rather than 'it's generally not' should be screaming in 40 point type ... I DO NOT LIKE IT!
But the man in our text didn't take that attitude. He just simply did what he was told to do.
Let's begin by looking at what Jesus did in him, or for him, or with him, or however one wants to express it.
1. The first thing Jesus did for the man, was simply to talk to him. I can imagine the conversation may have went something like this:
Jesus got off the boat, and met the fellow there near the water. Jesus looked at him, recognized him as one of God's children who had a terrible affliction, and simply said, "Hi, there, Bill." No, Bill was not likely his name .... more than likely it was Legion, or so he said a bit later."
"Hi, Bill! How's it going today?"
Bill looks at Jesus in stunned silence. I can imagine Bill thinking, "Huh? You talking to me? No one EVER talks to me!"
Jesus said, "Yes, Bill, I'm talking to you! I was just passing by and saw you, and thought maybe we could have us a bit of a chin wag."
Oh? You don't think Jesus would have used the expression 'chin wag?' Sure He would have. He would have said ANYTHING to get Bill to talking, you see.
Do you get the picture, here? Jesus is having a NORMAL conversation with a guy who is stark naked in broad daylight. Could YOU do that? WOULD you do that?
Jesus was smart enough to know that all God's children are naked, under their clothing!