Saturday, May 7, 2016

Luke 8:37-39

Luke 8:37-39
And the whole multitude of the region around the Gergesenes asked Him to depart from them, because they had great fear.  And after entering into the boat, he returned again.  But the man from whom the demons had come out was requesting to be with Him.  But He released him while saying, “Return into your house and declare all that God did for you.  And he departed while proclaiming to the whole city all that Jesus did for him.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The people ask Jesus to leave.  This is such a sad moment.  Out of their great fear, Jesus is asked to leave.  He can’t do any more ministry here at this time.  Jesus knows this, so He gets in a boat and leaves.  He departs from them.  Jesus honors their wish and leaves.  God is willing to leave when we make it clear that He is not welcome in our life at this moment.

How do you feel knowing that God will leave us for a time if we tell Him to go away from us?  Have you ever been tempted to be mad at God and to tell Him to go away from you?  What has kept you from going that far in your life?

Second Thought:

Jesus denies this man His request.  However, notice that Jesus doesn’t just say “no.”  Jesus says no and gives the man an alternate plan.  When God says no, He doesn’t just say no.  God says no because there is something else that He would rather us be doing.  No is not a word of denial.  For God and for Jesus, no is a word of redirection and refocus.

Are you challenged in thinking that no isn’t denial?  How can it help you in your life to think about no as word of redirection?

Third Thought:

One of my favorite teachings about this passage is something that isn’t even clearly stated.  We’ve all heard of the feeding of the 4,000.  But what we don’t often realize is that the feeding of the 4,000 happens in the Decapolis, which is in the area of the Gergesenes.  This man who goes out and proclaims to the whole city is laying the groundwork for the feeding of the 4,000!  What is so neat to see is that these people reject Jesus because they are afraid of Him.  But with the witness of this formerly demon-possessed man – and who knows what other witnesses, too – the ground is tilled and made fertile for the greater miracle of Jesus to come.  We can think it so cruel of God to send away this man who just wanted to continue to sit at Jesus’ feet.  But God had a much bigger plan for him.

Has God ever led you in a direction that seemed to make little sense, but later on it made perfect sense?  Why should stories like this remind us to be patient with God’s plan while living out of our obedience to Him?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 8:40-42
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