To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.
If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.
Being Left Behind By Jesus
Luke 8:26 is the account of Jesus healing the man living in the tombs, naked and possessed by demons. After Jesus had told the demons to leave this man, he was found at Jesus’ feet fully clothed and in his right mind.
Two facts in Luke’s account stand out to me.First, the name of the demon is given but not the name of the man who was delivered. Secondly, when this man wants to go and follow Jesus, he is denied.
Let’s first address the name. A name is significant in the Bible, it can define one’s character and reputation. Legion is a numerical definition of 3,000 to 6,000 soldiers. We are given this information but we are not given the man’s name. I have a feeling this is directly related to his denial to follow Jesus.
Taking a deeper look at this man, he has just been released from uncontrollable anger, going around naked and living in a graveyard. If I was him, I would be ready to stay as close to Jesus as possible, not wanting to return to that life and not wanting to go home and be embarrassed by my reputation. Then after begging to stay with Jesus, Jesus sent him away, with the instructions to “Go return home and tell how much God has done for you.” This was not a kind request, it was a forceful one and probably not something this man wanted to do.
A choice is given to follow your own will or follow Jesus’ direction. As Jacob wrestling with God and receiving his name change, this man was wrestling with his will and was in a name changing experience. Will I stay sanctified and set apart as I follow the will of Jesus, when it seems dry and barren, will I trust in Him? This man did and by Jesus’ guiding went back home and prepared his town so they welcomed Jesus at his return. Is not that the definition of what Christians are supposed to do?