Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
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Kendra Graham notes from : Luke 8:26-29a
“Then they sailed to the country of the Geresenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons, and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus he cried out and fell before Him and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, 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.”
They sailed to the country of the Geresenes, opposite Galilee. When HE came out on the land, He was met by a man from the city, possessed by demons, living in the tombs. Seeing Jesus he cried out and fell before Him, “What business Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Do not torment me.” He commanded the unclean spirit out.
The disciples and Jesus had just left their city of Capernaum. Capernaum, and the people there, took very seriously the commands and the Word of God. The people strived to be separate from the encroaching Roman world and stay true to God; however, this day, Jesus tells His disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side. This is a BIG deal for them, because you see, they would have NEVER gone to the other side. The other side was where the Decapolis was, a Roman territory. The Roman world was a pagan world, a world with many gods, the head god being that of Caesar Augustus (Octavian) who was said to have descended from the gods himself. Octavian was literally referred to as the “son of god”.
The “other side” was enemy territory… yet Jesus was getting in a boat to go and seek and to save ONE lost sheep. En route, there was a terrible storm where the disciples thought they were going to die, but Jesus calmed the sea with a word. The Word of God is powerful. The boat safely sees the shore in the country of the Geresenes, opposite Galilee. Everything on this opposite shore is opposite…. not just the location.
Verse 27 says that Jesus came out of the boat on to the land and immediately he was met by a man who is running around naked and living in the tombs. I wonder if the disciples watched from the boat, because it does not clearly state whether they ever got out of the boat of or not. If I was a disciple and saw Jesus get out of the boat and then saw this crazy naked man who lived in the tombs run up to Him…. I would have stayed put. You see THIS is why we are not to go to the other side! This clears it up! It is for our safety! We will always have plenty of reasons why we should have stayed home. Legit reasons! BUT GOD…. driven by His relentless love for His handmade creation will not be deterred, detoured or distracted. Our lives are messy and many of us are left in shambles from a harsh world, but Jesus is driven to get out of the boat and come to us regardless of all the reasons He should stay away.
The demons who are residing in this man immediately know Jesus. Isn’t that something? The demons don’t wait for Jesus to flush them out, but in the name of Jesus–the Son of the Most High–the demons named Legion actually try to command Jesus to leave them alone! How about that?! Even the demons know there is power in the name of Jesus!
The demon possessed man is healed. The demons ask to be sent to a herd of pigs, which Jesus allows, and they cast themselves into the sea.
In verse 28, the man who is healed asks Jesus if he can go with Him, but Jesus sends him back to share his story to those living in the Decapolis. The man returns proclaiming Jesus to that Roman territory.
Think about this entire scene and what the disciples are witnessing. The disciples are charged to go to a place they thought God told them to stay away from. They get in a boat and have immediate opposition which they could easily interpret as God saying, “GO BACK”… yet just as they are about to abandon ship, Jesus stills the storm. They press on. The boat lands on the other side and immediately there is a crazy naked man who is screaming at them. WOW. Surely God did not want them to come here, right? BUT GOD… the Son of the Most High, gets out of the boat and goes TOWARDS the crazy tomb dweller. The demons believe Jesus is the Son of God… the disciples are still hashing it all out. Jesus heals the demon possessed man and then sends him back to the Decapolis. (Don’t you know the disciples had to be relieved when Jesus said the naked tomb dweller could not go with them?!) Then Jesus gets back into the boat to go back to Capernaum.
What risk for ONE lost sheep! What will those say on the other side when they return? This could definitely be bad PR! Would it have been worth it for you or me? I don’t think I would have risked all that for a crazy tomb dweller… and then I would have missed the miracle.
Later, when Peter in Acts 10 is directed by God to visit Cornelius, he finds there a group of believers who receive the Holy Spirit in the same way as the Jews had. During this visit of several days, we can assume Peter would have eaten with his Gentile host. Through Peter’s prior vision (Acts 10:9-16), God prepared him to break bread with Gentiles with a clean conscience. How much do you want to bet that the food that was served was pig!?!? Looking back, the “crazy tomb dweller” turned out to be of major importance to the building of the Kingdom of God.
It is so easy to forget the importance of ONE single act of obedience. It is so easy to marginalize people that we don’t agree with or understand. People were never lost on Jesus. The Good Shepherd goes after the one lost sheep. Jesus didn’t need a platform in the Decapolis in the amphitheater or prestige among the Romans to be taken seriously. Jesus went to where no one would have gone to seek and to save that one impossible messy sheep that most would have just let roam. This is Jesus. Jesus is relentless and compelled for you and for me, even in the middle of our mess. Jesus will cross turbulent seas and hunt us down as we hide among the tombs, because He loves us that much.
Do you remember a time where Jesus was relentless for you when most would have given up? Where and to whom have you been propelled to share your story of Jesus?
The man in the tombs wanted to go with the disciples, but Jesus called him to stay and to share where he was…. often we would rather be anywhere else other than where Jesus has asked us to be.
LIVE IT OUT:
Lord, as You bring others into my life today, give me the Words, the strength and courage to show them Your love…. even the unlovely and messy.
Will you share your story here with us about when Jesus was relentless for you? There is power in our stories of how Jesus #delivered us…. After He #delivers us, he #propels us to purpose.
Share with us in the comments section below.