What if you knew a guy who was so tormented that he threw off his clothes, lived in a cemetery, was regularly locked up, but always escaped? Most of us would steer clear of him. But not Jesus.
Jesus commands the unclean spirit to come out of the tormented man, who falls at his feet, shouting, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” (Luke 8:28) Jesus asks, “What is your name?” The troubled man answers, “Legion.” (The word refers to an army unit of 6000 men!)
When Jesus gives the legion of demons permission to enter a herd of swine feeding on the mountainside, the demons leave the man and enter the pigs, who rush down the steep bank into the lake, where they drown. Naturally, the spectacle attracts a crowd who see thousands of dead pigs floating in the lake. The man, now clothed and in his right mind, sits calmly at the feet of Jesus, who instructs him to go home and “describe what great things God has done for you.” The freed man does just that. (Luke 8:39) I hope that someday, we’ll get to hear his testimony first hand.
Demons aren’t the only threat to a peaceful heart. Paul writes, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
From July readings for Days 4, 5, and 6
I Chronicles 7-9, 10-11, and 12-14
Psalms 127, 128, and 129
Luke 8:1-15, 8:16-25, and 8:26-39
Colossians 2:8-15, 2:16-23, and 3:1-14