This might seem, on the surface, to be the simple story of a demon-possessed man healed and delivered and restored to his humanity. If it’s only that, it’s beautiful.
But what catches my attention is the fact that the townspeople are downright terrified of what happened. And I want to know why?
They knew him to be the crazy dude that hung out in the haunted places.
And don’t we all love someone we can easily write off because of how they’ve made their money lately, or how many tattoos they have, or the places they’ve frequented in the last few months?
But then things changed.
Suddenly, the one who made them all feel better about their own “smaller” sins was okay? He was sitting up, in his right mind, okay?
And that’s when their fear came out, and they wanted Jesus to leave.
To make matters worse, even though Jesus finally left, this guy wouldn’t shut up! He wouldn’t stop talking about how Jesus had changed his life forever.
There are two things I love about this passage.
First, this guys’s life was radically changed by Jesus and he was unapologetic about it. He couldn’t stop talking about how things were different before and after he met Jesus.
Second, the entire community was so blown away by the supernatural occurrences that they couldn’t help but be afraid of what had happened in his life.
Here’s the bottom line, and the message many congregations need to hear…
God’s grace will show up and change lives in the place you least expect it. It will shock you, scare you, even offend you, but that’s how Jesus works.