The final person to beg on Jesus was the healed, sane, clothed, peaceful man himself. When you encounter God and find yourself peaceful, healed and free… maybe even happy?!… then you will find that everything has changed. You will beg Jesus to let you go everywhere he is going. You’re not afraid of the fires of hell like the demons because He has demonstrated his acceptance of you. You are His and He is yours. You have turn from you past and left the cemetery behind. You are a new person all together. All you want is more of Jesus and are willing to give up whatever in order to follow him.
This is who we are today as believers. We are the healed ones. We are made new. We are happy. We are at peace. I declare this over you in the name of Jesus! Be new. Be happy. Be at peace. In Jesus name. If you have always called yourself a believer in Christ but these concepts seem foreign to you, don’t freak out. I would love to talk with you, though. I would love to tell you about the hope we have and the good news. Healing is available. The last thing I want is for you to feel judged because you don’t have these things. Be at peace, not having peace it not the standard, but it does seem to be quite normal for Christians these days. Weird.
Suddenly, an interesting thing happens. For the first time in the story Jesus doesn’t concede to the begging. He doesn’t allow the man to go with him! What the *@#!)$ Jesus?! Why not? All he wants is you. Why deny him that? Has anyone else thought about this before?
Look at what Jesus tells him, “No, go back to your family and tell them everything God has done for you.” Jesus sends him. He commissions him. Not in order to somehow go and gain his acceptance before God. That was already clearly settled by Jesus’ demonstration of love. For the sake of your family, go to them. One of the roles of the Kingdom is to restore broken families (Malachi 4:6). One of the roles in the Kingdom is to tell of what God has done.
Think about this guy’s family. You know what? We all probably have that one crazy uncle that everyone kind of suspects is actually from outer-space… mostly so that they can feel better by disassociating with dude and claiming that his blood isn’t in your blood! Now, image this guy as your uncle!
“So, how’s Uncle John?”
“Well…” *head downcast* “He got arrested again for howling all night (Mark 5:5) and waking the neighbors up who live near the cemetery… which is where he was bumming for the last few years. Good news, I suppose, is that he got away after breaking off 18 sets of handcuffs and fighting off the entire district’s police force. Just to think, He looked SO cute in all his baby pictures!”
Okay, don’t invite this guy to thanksgiving anymore! You know what I’m saying?
But, image him coming home finally. Restored, healed and speaking about all these amazing things God has done for him! Now that would be a great family reunion.
So, what can we get from this story? One, don’t be like the demons who cower in fear at the thought of going to hell. If you are a believer, move past that and enter into His love. If you find yourself afraid of hell in spite of your best efforts to convince yourself that it shouldn’t be so, don’t beat yourself up. You need a savior to break you free. He doesn’t expect you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and “figure it out.” Go talk to a pastor. Get prayer. Even better, go through Prayer Resolution. I promise you will come out on the other side feeling more like the healed man than the demons.
Two, let Jesus have access to your money. Seriously. Ask dangerous questions like, “Heavenly Father, what do you want to do with my saving account?” or, “Is there anyone I know who is in need right now? If so, let me know so I can be an instrument of hope and healing.” Once you realize how many people in your church are hurting and dying whose marriages falling apart, families imploding, and depression is reigning, you may start to see why you have money in your bank account. Get trained as a prayer counselor. Support a missionary. Give more to your local church. Are you willing to spend yourself on behalf of those who are in need? I know so really financially tight missionaries and some really well-off friends. Can you image if someone payed the salary of a full time minister to help those who are hurting?!
Three. Get healed. No shame in it what-so-ever. You need to ask for help. Go through Prayer Resolution. Get rid of the demons, the depression, the anxiety, and the lies. Please be free. Please be healed. And, get trained as a Prayer Resolution counselor. I’m doing a class starting at the end of the month. Check it out. Be an instrument of healing. Be the demoniac who is healed and goes home and starts a revival in his family as he shares what God has done. There are too many people who are hurting and too few people who know how to help people heal in Jesus’ name.
Luke 8:26-39. Read it. (Look here for part 1)
…The demons leave, enter and kill the pigs and the crowds gather. This is the second group who beg of Jesus. They beg Jesus to leave…
If you find yourself uncomfortable with Jesus getting involved in the certain areas of your life regarding money, you have more in common with this crowd who cast Jesus away than with your heavenly Father.
Two thousand pigs (Mark 5:13) died that day. I want you to see that Jesus was willing to sacrifice these stranger’s welfare and fortune in order to bring freedom to one tormented man. Two thousand pigs died so that this single man could find freedom. Can you image the financial implications of loosing that much livestock?! Those people may very well have depended on that herd for food and provision. If a full grown pig costs $200 today, that herd of pigs would cost $400,000. Jesus was willing to spend someone else’s $400,000 to “buy” this man’s freedom. Anyone feeling uncomfortable yet?
If you are more concerned about how allowing Jesus into your life will effect your wallet more than your concern for the people living in your life who need to be freed, you are deceived by money. Repent! Look around you! People are hurting and tormented and your concern is, “I hope Jesus doesn’t want my money!” What if it took $400,00 to sent one person free? Jesus thought it was worth it, do we?
These people weren’t afraid of going to hell like the demons, they were afraid of Jesus actually staying around and changing the way things are done. They didn’t trust Jesus. Their interpretation of this encounter was, “Jesus is a trouble-maker because he obviously doesn’t care at all about our income and economic state!” They were terrified of Jesus because they recognized his power while still being blind to the fact that he was good. They didn’t trust Him to be good. Maybe they hadn’t heard the promises, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that carries over into eternity.” (John6:27) They probably weren’t there when Jesus said, “Seek first my kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33) They never even asked if Jesus would feed them in their hunger. Even if there were five thousand people , Jesus could have fed them with a few loaves and fish. Instead of asking for help, they asked him to leave so that they could get about to fixing their own problems.
The final person to beg on Jesus was the healed, sane, clothed, peaceful man himself…
Three people begged Jesus for something in this story. The demons, the crowd and the freed man. Who do we relate to more and how does Jesus respond when we beg?
Let’s not picture this begging like a pan-handler asking for a couple coins. What I’m picturing here is a POW begging to not be put back into isolation after having just spent 4 weeks there. It’s a posture of humiliation, desperation and intensity. This is what I picture as the demons beg Jesus for mercy in how He deals with them. They know they are guilty and that Jesus is more than able to exercise authority over them. They did not want to go back to the pit, which they knew was a real possibility.
When we find ourselves afraid of God torturing us and sending us to the pits of hell, we have more in common with a legion of demons that with our Father in heaven. When Jesus encounters this man tormented by demons, he looks past the nudity, violence, scars, insanity, lack of self control, and horror that presented itself. He saw the creation of God, the beautiful diamond under the garbage heap. So, He commands the demons to leave by the authority of Jesus Christ! Leave this man, leave this woman! Let the kings and queens of the kingdom be revealed in Jesus’ name!
Demons are going to tell you that you are going to die and be tortured forever in hell because they are going to be tortured forever in hell and they want you to stay in fellowship with them so that you can go down with them. They are attracted to you because you believe their lies and their lies seem more true every moment because you continue to hear them constantly as the demons are more and more attracted to you as you more and more believe them! Vicious cycle. Soon you’ll find yourself with a whole legion of those buzzards. You need a savior who will break their lies over you and bring freedom and truth where you only had lies and death.
Back to the story. The demons leave, enter and kill the pigs and the crowds gather. This is the second group who beg of Jesus. They begged Jesus to leave…