The last of the pre-prepared posts! Going to have to go offline and do some thinking or get out and get a life for a while …….
“A man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in a cemetery outside the town…Jesus demanded “what is your name?”
“What is Jesus doing there other than to have an encounter with this pathetic man? A man totally outside the boundaries of anyone’s idea of decency and normality. Chain breaker, driven by the real “dark side of the force” – powers I have only encountered fleetingly, scarily on a “mission trip” to Birmingham. Which have disintegrated him. No family, no security, no warmth of any kind, only welcomed by the bones of the dead. I marvel at Jesus’ courage – I would have run a mile. But he knew what to do and had the power and discernment to deal with the demons who are forced to bow before him.
I wonder what the man’s real name was? Sitting, clothed at Jesus feet, this newly minted disciple just wants to follow. I’d guess we would encourage him to “spend time” with Jesus, get his life a little sorted. Jesus just seems brutal – go home, tell your family about what God has done. He’s alone again. In a region where Jesus has just caused total economic chaos and probably lost a farming “gang” their income.
So what happened next? Did his family welcome him? Accept him with open arms? Tentatively? Or throw him out? Questions, questions – I have a mental file full of them and there’s rarely a nice, neat bible answer to them.
So: has Luke met him – was he an “early adopter”, a founder of a little church. Did Jesus just heal him because he is good and he brings that kind of restoration?
I guess this man challenges out my fear. I would never in my wildest dreams approach someone like him. Obviously! Given the single female and naked crazy man scenario! But there’s probably a lot of situations where I put my chin down into my jacket and tell God he will need to find someone a bit braver than me…..maybe I limit what God might possibly want to do?