The man from Gadara was in bad shape. Naked, out of his mind, and living in a graveyard, he was so out of control that he broke the chains of those who tried to restrain him. Yet, what really tormented him was the thought of being approached by Jesus (Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28).
In Gadara BC, the neighbors must have told some bizarre stories about this crazy, evil man. Yet what seems to have frightened them even more was the day they found him sitting clothed and in his right mind (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35).
What happened AD is worth retelling. The man who, BC, had been more tormented by the teacher from the other side of the lake– than by the demons that oppressed him– now begged to go with Jesus. But the neighbors pleaded with Jesus to leave them alone (Mark 5:17-19; Luke 8:37-38).
This was not the first or last person delivered from a living death by Jesus. Neither were those neighbors the first or last to be afraid of what Jesus wanted from them.
So many years later, I find myself looking forward to meeting that man someday. I identify with him so much. Even though our stories sound so different, I need as much mercy as he did. I too owe my life and whatever sanity I have to the same Jesus that rescued him.
What about you. Would be good for all of us to hear some stories of what “the Teacher from the other side of the lake” has done for you… BC and AD… Can you identify with being afraid of Jesus before… and scaring others after?
P.S. Am so thankful for the conversation that is going on in the “comments” below. If you don’t have time now to read the whole string, I hope you’ll come back later to do so. Whether you are struggling today or not, I think you’ll find here a co-traveler you can identify with and learn from.