Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 10, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 8:27-39 (NKJV)
8:27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
“Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him.”
This man had suffered for a long time at the hands of demons and Jesus had now released him. It is quite understandable that this man wanted to be with Jesus. He saw what Jesus had done, and may well have feared what might happen to him if Jesus left.
But isn’t that the point? There is a fear, a righteous fear, of Jesus departing from us. As the Holy Spirit works within us each day to confess our sins and trust in Christ, He also leads us to see what life is without Christ. He leads us to see the hopelessness and helplessness of life without Christ, which moves us to cling all the more to Christ.
The irony of it all is that the very fear of losing Christ draws us closer to Him. The fear of Jesus not being with us leads us to hear, “Lo, I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20). The fact that God can use our very fears and doubts for our own good only goes to prove what St. Paul wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Prayer: O God, our Refuge and Strength, Who art the Author of all godliness: Be ready, we beseech Thee, to hear the devout prayers of Thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully, we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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