Loving the Outcasts

Wherever Jesus walked, he always noticed the outcasts, the ones shunned by society for reasons completely out of their control. His love and compassion compelled Him to heal and restore each person.

One day Jesus decided to sail to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.

And when He had come out onto the land,
He was met by a certain 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.
Luke 8:27 (NASB)

This outcast was treated as a crazy man because the demons inside him caused violent behavior. Restrained by chains and shackles, he was kept under guard; but he would break through and, driven by the demons, run into the desert.

Jesus approached the man that day and began commanding the demons to come out of him. Instead, the demons began screaming and pleading with Him not to send them into the abyss but to allow them to enter the nearby herd of swine. Jesus granted permission, knowing the swine would race down the steep embankment and drown in the lake.

A terrifying incident, for sure, but the love of Jesus triumphed and forever changed the outcast’s life. Two amazing scenes unfolded. And those are what captured my heart.

1.  The man sat at Jesus’ feet.

We might think he’d feel embarrassed and humiliated to stay around after all the uproar. But the love that had delivered him drew him to the feet of Jesus…a sacred place. As we picture him sitting there, fully clothed, calm, and coherent, we can understand why.

     He felt comfortable being with Jesus.

     He felt loved and accepted by Jesus.

     His fear was gone.

2.  The man received a commission from Jesus.

His deliverance by Jesus ushered in a feeling of hope he’d never experienced. Now he could be part of the society that had shunned him before.

Filled with purpose and love for Jesus, the man begged Jesus to let him join his ministry. Certainly, he envisioned the joy and privilege of following Jesus and witnessing more miraculous healings.

Instead, Jesus commissioned him to go and tell his story.

Return to your house and
describe what great things God has done for you.
Luke 8:39 

Obediently, the man began walking toward his house, but something happened on the way.

He proclaimed throughout the whole city
what great things Jesus had done for him.
(Luke 8:39)

Jesus has commissioned us as well. Because of His love, He not saved us. He also sent us to tell our story to everyone we meet so they will know how God has transformed our lives. And as we speak, God can change other people’s lives through us.

Is there someone who needs to hear your story this week?

Published by Gail Porter

Gail Porter is an author, inspirational speaker, and workshop leader. Her latest book is Will the Real Person Please Stand Up? Rising Above the Fear of Rejection.

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