Saturday, July 22, 2017

When A Demon Came to Church and Jesus Made Him Leave

I think about the Gadarene demoniac a lot. You probably remember him. He was the man who was so controlled by demons that he lived, naked, in the tombs of the Gadarenes. He was violent and uncontrollable. 

One day, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee to set him free. 

I remembered him when I shared lunch and RC Cola with the man in the tombs outside the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem. Demoniacs have been in and out of my thoughts ever since.

The demon-possessed man I'm writing about today was shouting in the synagogue. Needless to say, all that yelling was disruptive. People were probably aggravated and afraid. It was hard to worship with all the demon-shouting.

 Jesus was there to share the greatest news in the world, and Demon-Man's noise had likely shut Him down completely. 

He didn't offer sympathy to the distressed man, nor warmer clothes, nor a hot meal. The man's greatest need at that moment was to be rid of the demon. He needed a Savior, and no doubt about it, but this man could not serve both God and the demon. One of them would have to go. 

Jesus spoke directly to the demon. "Be quiet and get out!" He commanded. 

We don't know how long this man had been possessed by the demon, how it came about, nor whether he wanted to be free. What we do know is that it was only in the presence of Jesus that he found freedom. 

Jesus came to set the captives free, and the demon-possessed are not the only ones who need to be set free. All of us have been in bondage, to some degree, because of our propensity to sin. 

Freedom and relationship with Christ is only possible when we do as Jesus did. Speak "Be quiet and get out!" to those things that occupy the position Christ should have. We cannot serve both Jesus and the sin to which we cling.  

It's a hard task to stop doing, thinking, saying something that does not please Jesus, but, just as in the Capernaum synagogue, He stands ready to help. Take a few minutes today to allow Christ to examine your heart and reveal to you the major deterrent to your relationship with Him. Once identified, speak the words Jesus spoke, "Get out!", and allow the sweet Spirit of God to fill the void left behind. 

Pray today that our loved ones would be so tired of their sin and lostness that they would be willing to embrace change. Pray, too, that they would be drawn to the presence of Christ and allow Him to set them free. 

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "be quiet and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, without doing any harm. (Luke 4:35 NASB)
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: How to React When a Leader Fails

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