One of my favorite accounts of Jesus in the bible is the story in Luke 8:22 -38. Jesus and his friends set out to travel to the other side of lake Galilee. While in the boat a storm blows in putting all at great danger. Jesus however was not concerned, as he was happily taking a nap.
Panicked his friends wake him screaming “we are all going to drown”. Jesus gets up, rebukes the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
I love this account, and how it reveals who Jesus is, and that He expects us to operate on the same level. “Where is your faith? he asked his disciples. In other words what’s your problem? Just deal with the storm yourself.
But what happens next is equally amazing, and a reminder to me just how much Jesus loves us all. How much He loves the “one,” and what He’ll do to reach just one person.
On calming the storm they reach the other side of the lake of Galilee. As soon as Jesus stepped ashore, a crazed, deranged, naked man comes rushing out to meet him. This man had for a long time not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the local cemetery, and in the wilderness. When he saw Jesus he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!”
Jesus knew straight away what he was dealing with. This man was not in control of himself, but possessed and totally controlled by not just one evil spirit but a whole legion of them. Many times these evil spirits had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the evil spirits into solitary places.
Jesus orders the evil spirits out of the man and the man is restored to his right mind. He is later found by all the townsfolk sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind. Those who see the once possessed man tell everyone how the man had been cured. Then all the people of the region ask Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So Jesus gets into the boat and leaves.
The man from whom the spirits had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus tells him, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
Why do I love this account so much? Because it reminds me every time I read it of the value of one person. Of one soul to God. That each and every person no matter who they are, and how “messed” up they be or feel is of valuable.
Jesus was tired, yet he got in that boat that gets caught in the middle of a great storm simply to reach, and set free one man! Then Jesus gets back in the boat and travels all the way back across to the other side of the lake again. All that effort for just one man!
Why? Because Jesus cares about the “One”. He sees the one and He loves them. He sees you and He loves you. He is no respecter of persons and He does not change.
What He did for that one man, He’ll do for you, and for those around you. He came and gave His life not to condemn the world but to love it, and He expects us who know Him to do the same. To reach out to all the “ones” around us and make a difference in whatever way we can in their lives.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”.(Hebrews 13:8)
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 8:38)
Prayer: Jesus thank you that you notice me. That you go to whatever effort and lengths required to meet my need and rescue me. Help me to really understand how much you love me and how important I am to you. Help me also to love those “Ones” all around me just like you do. In Jesus Name Amen.