Friday, June 22, 2007
There was a guy in Gerasa who was pushed out by the others, sent away, even tied up to keep him in the sticks. Apparently he had some trouble in "normal" social situations. What troubles he had exactly we don't know but by the time we meet him he's ready to go off the deep end.
So Jesus shows up. Hops off the boat after crossing the lake and calming the storm. And this naked guy comes up to him and shrieks "Why are you bothering me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?" For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirits to leave.
Off the deep end they go, indeed. A whole crowd of demons take the pigs for a ride and jump off, into the sea. Gone, forever. Our Naked Man is now dressed, quiet and ready to follow Jesus wherever he goes. He is free.
He didn't ask, he didn't pay, he was just freed. In fact, he couldn't have asked for himself, he was that deep in the drink. Like the woman who had washed his feet, Jesus freed her of her sin before she asked. It is the sins that we don't acknowledge or perhaps even know about that really tie us up. The stuff we won't or can't or just don't confess before God and our neighbor.
But Jesus forgives us. For his sake we don't have to be tied up in chains, locked in a tomb, hidden away. We are free to tell others what God has done for us.
That is the request. Not an order, but an imperative: "Go home and tell what God has done for you!"