Luke 8:26-56

Luke 8:26-56 tells a couple powerful stories about Jesus.  He has sailed across the water and as He arrives He is met by a man who has been demon possessed for many years.  This guy comes up to Jesus and the demons ask Jesus not to banish them to the abyss but to let them move into a herd of pigs that were nearby. Jesus allows that and they come out of the man and into the pigs that immediately “rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned”.  You can imagine what the herdsmen were thinking – jobs on the line – and they rush off to town to tell people what happened.  They were responsible to care for these pigs and now they were in trouble.  The townspeople come to see what has happened and they find the newly freed man “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind”.  This guy had been out of control for years, unable to be shackled and controlled because of the demons living in him, but now he is sitting there at he feet of the Master and learning.  I can only imagine the awe they would be feeling.  But it was too much to understand, and they “asked Him to depart from them”.  So here is Jesus who has just done a miracle but since the people could not comprehend what He had done, they send Him packing. They don’t want to get outside their comfort zone – God needed to stay in their box – and they send Jesus away.  It is easy to sit here and say they were idiots.  They had seen the power of God manifest in the life of this wild man who was freed from the demons and a history that they all knew.  But because they couldn’t understand or control it, they wanted no part of it.  “So He got into the boat and returned”.  Do you send Jesus away?  When you can’t understand what is going on, do you push Him away or run to Him?  We all need to run to the Savior all the time.

As Jesus gets to the other side the people “were all waiting for him”.  That is quite a contrast isn’t it. One side of the lake chases Him away, the other side is there waiting for Him.  I’ll let you guess where He does His work.  We need to be like these folks who are waiting for Jesus to do a work in us.  As He comes ashore Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, “implored Him to come to His house”.  His daughter was very sick and on the edge of death and he knew that Jesus could fix it.  Jesus begins to move toward Jairus’ house and as he goes a woman who had been struggling with a medical condition for 12 years “came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment and immediately” was healed.  She didn’t talk to Him.  She didn’t pray with Him.  She simply came up behind and touched His garment and Jesus immediately says “someone touched me”.  The disciples can’t understand what the big deal is as they are in the middle of a mob that is pushing to get close to Jesus.  But He knew someone had received the power of healing thorugh faith.  She came trembling and Jesus said “your faith has made you well”.  Did you see that?  It wasn’t the touch of the garment that healed her – it was faith in the Healer.  She believed and when that faith came into contact with Jesus a miracle happened.  As He began to move again toward Jairus’ house, someone comes to deliver the news that the daughter was dead.  Jesus doesn’t even slow down.  He says these words: “Do not fear, only believe, and she will be well”.  How can that be Jesus?  She is dead.  It can be because Jesus has the power over both life and death. He has power over all things.  He is not limited by what we can see or understand.  Jesus tells them that the girl was only sleeping, “and they laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead”.  But someone must have believed because Jesus went into her room and takes her hand and helps her out of bed.  Jesus brings the dead to life.  There is nothing too big for Him to handle in your life or mine.  He is in total and absolute control.  He is God and stands ready to get involved in our life just like He did here.  The question is – are you seeking Him and asking Him to come in and make a difference.  Do you believe?  Don’t miss the power of the Master.  He wants to change our lives.  He wants to make a difference that only He can make.  Don’t miss the power of Jesus!

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