The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for. — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
What does Jesus want to do with us? This question is a Christ-centered version of “What’s my life’s purpose?”
We expect the answer to be different for everyone. After all, we are 6 billion individuals; surely Jesus wants to do 6 billion different things with our lives if we invite Him to do so.
But what if the answer is similar for all of us? Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, what Jesus did with His followers then, He’ll continue to do now.
In Luke 8:26-28, Jesus arrived in Gerasenes across the lake from Galilee. As He stepped ashore, a naked, demon-possessed man ran toward Him, fell at His feet, and cried out, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”
It was an odd greeting from an odd man. This guy was living in the tombs among the dead.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” [a demon inside the man] replied (8:30). During this time in history, in the Roman guard a legion was equal to 6,000 men. This naked man who lived among the dead was infested with demons.
Jesus allowed the demons to escape into a herd of pigs, who then ran headlong over a cliff and into the lake… oinking frantically as they sank to the bottom (8:32-33).
Those who’d been tending the pigs ran into town and told everyone what had happened. When the townspeople came out to see for themselves, “they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind…” (8:35).
The man was transformed and the people were afraid. They even asked Jesus to leave (8:37).
There will be people around us who don’t understand the transformative work Jesus has done and is doing in us. They will see the changes and feel fear and confusion, loss (the pigs), and even anger.
But this spectrum of reactions doesn’t change the desire Jesus has to partner with us in the same way He partnered with this transformed man in the region of Gerasenes.
Jesus, Your transformation of me sparks my desire for intimate relationship with You. While I sit at Your feet, may I clear a space for others so that, when they’re ready to push past their fear or confusion, they’ll know they are invited too. Amen
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