Hunkered Down Devotion

Luke 8:39 (Voice)
Jesus: 39 No. Go home. Tell your people this amazing story about how much God has done for you.
The man does so. In fact, he tells everyone in the whole city how much Jesus did for him that day on the shore.

Our verse for the day comes at the end of a miracle story, where Jesus heals a man that had been afflicted by demon possession for a long time.  Biblical scholars suggest a wide variety of possibilities in terms of what exactly this demon possession was, including epilepsy, mental illness, or more.  We also can’t ignore the possibility of evil actively at work, regardless of what we might call it.   For our purposes, however, the nature of his affliction isn’t that pertinent.

Instead, what I would like us to think about today instead is what is his response.  There is an old cliché that has several variations but goes something like: life isn’t about what happens to you, but about how you respond to it.  This sentiment encapsulates a central element of our faith, that our actions are not about earning God’s love, but responding to it.

We don’t earn the gift of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness, just like the man in this miracle story didn’t earn his healing – in fact, the story is quite clear that he didn’t necessarily even want to be healed.  

The healed man in this story is a model of what type of response God is looking for from us.  His life has been so transformed that initially all the man can think to do is to follow Jesus – he wants to stay as close as possible to the source of his healing and wholeness.  But Jesus gently, but firmly, tells him that is not what is required or expected.

Instead, Jesus issues a clear call, a blueprint for what an appropriate response to God’s healing grace looks like: Tell people about how much God has done for you.  Our passage ends with the knowledge that this is exactly what the man does.

Jesus is the source of all good things, and our salvation, our healing, and our wholeness and peace come only from him.  We can’t earn or deserve them, but having been loved, healed, and made whole, we must go and share this good news with everyone we can.

Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer:   Lord, thank you for your healing love, and saving grace.  Help us to share this good news with all we meet.  Amen.

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