After the storm that Jesus and His disciples encountered and silenced, He goes across to a city called Gerasenes. There He meets a man that’s tormented by a legion (he had so many demons – these demons caused this man to live near tombs, cut himself, and nobody could subdue him because he would break the chains). The man cries out to Jesus, and the demons acknowledge who Jesus is and beg Him not to send them away, but send them to pigs that were nearby. So Jesus grants their request by delivering the man and sent the demon to the pigs.
The man is completely set free and in his right mind. The people stricken by the fear of what just happened, ask Jesus to leave their town. So Jesus steps back into his boat, and the man begs to Jesus go with him, but Jesus tells the man to go back home and tell everyone what God has done for him.
- Jesus responded to the request of the demons.
- Look at the attitude and response of Jesus. We shouldn’t treat people the way they deserve to be treated, but treat them how Jesus would. The man was used to being pushed away and rejected by people because of his state, but Jesus surprised him.
- “Surprise people with the way you treat them, not as they deserve, but as Jesus would”
- God is good and loving to the extent that he favorably replied to the demon.
- God is God over all, and creator of everything.
- He’s in control of everything, and nothing happens without His permission. That is why the devil needed permission to touch Job.
- God is God above all, and He has authority over all demons. It shows the power of God that even demons need His permission.
- That should give you a sense of assurance and guarantee when you pray to God because He is the master of everything; this should give you confidence when you pray.
- The devil is no rival for God, and he’s not an adversary, but he’s a creature. In God’s hands, he is a pawn.
- Jesus came for one person and went back to His boat.
- Believe in the love of God so much; that if you were the only human on earth, He would still die for you.
- He comes for you, so you need to personalize the visitation of Jesus.
- God is the one that sets boundaries like He did in the story of Job.
- The change in your life after you’ve met Christ should be evident to man and reflect on your behavior. You shouldn’t be a people’s pleaser what pleases man, may not necessarily please God.
- The deliverance of the possessed man was a seed in the hearts of those that remained. Jesus was reluctant to leave the city because he knew that the miracle in the man’s life would continue to preach and work its way in the hearts of those that lived in the city.
- The opening verses show that nobody comes to God unless God has called them.
- Not every voice that worships God or gives praise is necessarily from God. We need to discern the spirit behind voices, Jesus was a solution for this man but a torment to the demon.
- When Jesus comes into our lives, He gives us what we’re lacking. He restores the man to live in his house.
- After encountering God, show yourself to the world so they may see what God has done.
- The spirits were intimidated by Jesus; when you have the spirit of God, any spirit contrary to His should tremble. No evil Spirit should be comfortable around you.
- It’s cool to be a follower of Jesus, but it’s even cooler to be a witness. If the man went with Jesus, some people wouldn’t have known about the change in his life (especially those that did not know his history).
- We get so used to the normal, that when God works, it can scare us.
- When you pray to God for a miracle, how He responds doesn’t have to make sense to you. God is supernatural, so are His ways.
- So often we pray for a supernatural intervention from God but reject it because it doesn’t make sense to us.
- Not everyone will appreciate the change that God causes in you. So being rejected because God changes you shouldn’t discourage you.
- God uses everything for His glory, and our testimonies give glory to Him, people’s lives get transformed through what God has done in our lives.
- The man could have wanted to go with Jesus for the mere fact of being scared of going back to his tormented state.
- There is a security that comes with God’s doing in your life; nobody can steal it from you.
- When you don’t have anything, you can put your hope in God because you have nothing to lose.
- Your lack is a reason to cast all your hope on God.
- God uses any situations to bring glory to himself. Our loud prayers (which are embarrassing or shameful to us) can be liberating and edifying for others.
- We need to move away from thinking that being a Christian is being perfect, but instead, it’s a walk towards perfection. Our vulnerability encourages people.
- There are prayers that we should pray out loud so that when it happens, people can testify.
- We’re so quick to move on to the next step or the next thing and minimize the power of staying at a particular place. We easily believe that it’s time to move on and not have the faith to stay, especially when it’s uncomfortable
- “Know when to stay and when to leave, don’t let it be an emotional decision but one dictated by God.”
- We should learn to identify what’s troubling us and speak it aloud.
- Jesus doesn’t ask because he doesn’t know, but He asks because He wants us to acknowledge the problem and that it’s Him that performs the miracle.
- Even demons acknowledge God and our problems tremble before God.
- The devil doesn’t show you the bad side of things. When tempting you, he shows you a good side of somethings, but in reality, it’s a trap.
- The pigs were a source of economy for the city, but Jesus ‘wasted’ them. It goes to show that Jesus would go to any extent to reach out to us; a soul has no price for Him.
- “There is no waste to God when it comes to saving a soul”
- God’s time is the best time, and He’ll meet you at your point of need.
- Take advantage of the presence of God; the presence of God can free you.
- When God comes to you, whatever is yours will be yours.
- Keep knocking and keep pressing. Your persistence in knocking will cause the person behind the door to open for you.
- Sometimes God puts you in a place that’s not comfortable for you, to change and reach to someone. So it’s not always about you.
- When God sets you free, you’re free indeed.
- Nothing frees us like Jesus, and His freedom has assurance and it comes with security.
- Jesus didn’t reject him by denying the man’s request, but He instead wanted him to be a walking testimony in his city.
- Your placement may not always pleasant to you, but your testimony is louder there.
- “The devil is a joke in front of God.”
- Most situations in our lives present themselves as powerful as the man of legion (he could break chains, cut himself, live is isolated placed, etc.) but before God the demons were powerless. As his children, we have His Spirit, which is a superior spirit.
- He left the crowd, went through a storm just for one person. That’s how much He cares.
- The Hand of God is not short to reach out to you even in the deepest of pits.
Shepherd Elie Hamuli – Conclusion
- The bible starts by describing how the guy was before he met Jesus, broken and tormented and describes him after his encounter with Jesus. That goes to show that no man can encounter God and remain the same.
- A genuine encounter with Jesus Christ brings a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture
- There’s a change that happens when you meet Jesus, and it’s not only for you to live but for people to see. Your change should be evident.
- What do people see in you when you’ve met Christ?
- A change of lifestyle characterizes an encounter with Jesus.
- The man was in his right mind with all his senses; “With all your sense” means that you know what you’re doing, you’re not going with the flow of life and doing whatever the world does.
- There are so many things claiming your life after you have met Jesus (your past life – drug, alcohol, pornography, etc.)
- The world isn’t happy to see you live differently, and the devil isn’t happy seeing you live in freedom.
- The devil wants us bound to our old lifestyle so that there’s a clash that taints our testimony, and the devil fights our testimonies because it’s how we overcome.
- “Your testimony carries power to change lives. “
- You can’t live your Christianity in private; people need to see Christ in you.
- Your light should attract people without you even saying a word.
- Jesus sent him back to the place where his change happened.
- Your testimony is powerful in your place of shame.
- There’s a place that’s linked to your past and it’s a place of embarrassment, but that’s the place where your testimony is loud and effective
- The same place that you’ve been humiliated could be the place of your elevation
- Accept the humiliation; it shapes you. God allows us to go through fire to refine us, but it’s with love.
- The efficiency of your testimony is bound and linked to the place of your change. So don’t be quick to leave the place where your change happened because you carry evidence of God’s power in you.
- The boat represented the pulpit and ministry, and Jesus denied the man that request.
- You don’t need to be a pastor to reach out; all you need to be is a witness. Influence where you are with your testimony.
- Jesus called the apostles, but the man requested to be a follower of Jesus. It is God that calls not the other way round.
- Start where you are, with your testimony. You don’t need a pulpit to have an impact; you need your testimony and the word of God.
- Your influence can happen without you having a title.
1. Pray for a real encounter with Jesus Christ that will leave you genuinely changed.
2. Pray to be a real and bold witness of Jesus Christ wherever he places you.
3. Pray for the strength to live beyond our past habits/lifestyle, and free from everything that claims you.