Luke 8:39-40 “Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.”
One man can make a difference.
This maniac who dwelt among the tombs, came to Jesus to be healed. Over a thousand demons possessed this man’s soul. He was untamed, unrestrained, and out of his mind. He ran around naked and wreaked havoc wherever he went. No one wanted him near them.
Then Jesus came and cast all those demons out of him. It was quite the scene. Jesus interacted with the demons, and they requested to be cast into the pigs in the field. Jesus allowed it to be so, and the demons caused those pigs to all run off a cliff.
All who saw it came upon the man now clothed, in his right mind and sitting at the feet of Jesus. This man was grateful – no doubt! He wanted to be with this One who had set him free. But Jesus had a plan more significant than what this man knew.
Essentially, Jesus told him to go and give his testimony to all who would listen. They all knew the old man; the one who left destruction and mayhem in his wake. But this new man was now saved; in his right mind and on a mission.
You and I are really no different than this maniac of the Gadarenes. Before we came to Christ, we had an ‘old man’ in need of a Savior. But for many of us, the ‘missing link’ is in what we do after we are saved.
Jesus’ return trip to this place was markedly different than the first one – all because of one man who obeyed what Jesus told him.
Luke 8:39 “Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee…”
Those first meetings with the people he was sent to witness must have been a bit awkward. When people first saw him coming, the alert must have gone out – “The maniac is on the loose again!” They were met with quite a different man. Dressed and speaking in quiet tones, he told them how this man, Jesus, had released him from the bondage of the demons that had possessed him.
He told them how he had been changed completely.
One began to listen. Others gathered and soon, the whole town heard how this man who had once terrorized their town was now telling them of the greatest gift he had ever been given – freedom. Freedom both from the demons and his sin. Both kept him in bondage.
You and I miss out on the blessing of God when we leave off the command of Christ to go and tell others what great things God has done for us!
We all have hope that this life; the Christian life, will be different. We must link our hope with our faith. Our faith being that which we know God to be; what we know God to have promised; and in keeping with His character; doing that which is in his power to carry out.
Prayers can and will be answered – if we would just pray!
Blessings would come if we would just do our part.
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Often, we get the last part – wanting the devil to flee from us – but we neglect the first part – our submission to Him.
Our faith needs feet. We must be courageous enough to go forth to do all that God has commanded us to do. We are told to pray without ceasing. We are told to walk humbly with God. Submit. Resist. Obey. Be holy.
We see the Christian life as this monumental task that seems impossible for us to live out.
Two things keep us from even beginning. One is that we are ignorant; we’ve never been taught. The other is that we are fearful because we do not have faith enough to trust that what God has commanded, He will enable.
The maniac went past what others may have thought about the old man he used to be – and he introduced them to the one made new by Jesus Christ.
We cannot earn Heaven by the works that we do.
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
But we must show our faith to others by the work we do out of love for our Savior.
James 2:17-18 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
The linking of our faith with the works we do becomes an opportunity for us to testify of the goodness of God – just like the former maniac of the Gadarenes.
Upon Jesus’ return to the city, the whole town wanted to meet this man who had the power to change this man’s life so completely. They gladly received Him.
If Jesus was to return today, who would be standing with us waiting to hear about this One who had changed our lives so completely?