Daily D – Luke 8:37, 40
Luke 8:37 And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them. So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. (NLT)
Luke 8:40 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. (NLT)
Which side of the divide are you on? Are you on the side of those begging Jesus to go away and leave them alone? Or are you on the side with those welcoming Jesus because they were expecting him?
Jesus did mighty things on both sides of the lake. One in a thousand welcomed him on the far side. A thousand welcomed him on the near side.
Having been warned about joining the crowd, you may choose to journey to the far side. If so, make sure you connect with the man who wanted to follow Jesus wherever he went (verse 38). Before he met Jesus, he was demonized to the point that he was homeless, naked, and lived in the tombs. After meeting Jesus, he was freed from the demons and sat at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane (verses 26-39).
There is much to be said about living demon-free lives, fully clothed and perfectly sane.
On both sides of the lake, as soon as Jesus stepped out of the boat, someone stepped right up to him (verses 27 and 41). On both sides of the lake, Jesus encountered heart-breaking brokenness and loss. On both sides of the lake, Jesus set things right.
In the liminal space (Today’s Word of the Day is Liminal. Look it up.) between shores of resistance and welcome, Jesus demonstrated his power over even the elements of nature (verses 22-25).
Jesus is Jesus wherever he goes. He is Jesus on the far shore, Jesus on the near shore, Jesus in the storm in between.
You may feel like you live among the demonized Tomb Dwellers and terrified Pig Farmers on the Far Side.
You may feel like you live among the Desperate Dads and Mistreated Women on the Near Side.
You may feel like the Overwhelmed Sailors on the Stormy Sea.
Wherever you are, wherever you are bound, wherever you encounter life in all its reality, Jesus is Jesus, Jesus is there, Jesus is in charge of whatever you encounter.
It’s amazing what you experience when you go through your day with Jesus. Lives are changed. Lives are saved. Lives are healed. Lives are brought back from the dead. Why would you go anywhere without Jesus?
Here’s a good memory verse: “On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him,” (verse 40).
I will welcome Jesus and live my life in conscious awareness of his presence.
Our Father, here is my life. You are welcome here. I never want to be anywhere you are not. I want to know your reality in all places at all times in every eventuality. On the stormy sea, I want to know your presence. In the tombs of the dead, I want to know your presence. In the heartbreaks of life, I want to know your presence. Amen.
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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.