“Go home to your friends and tell them the great things the Lord has done.” (Mark 5:19).
The story of the Gadarene demoniac floods our imaginations with both mystery and awe. And the miraculous deliverance of his life from ruin inspires us with hope in all things.
No man ever thinks that he will be the monster in the woods that children are taught to fear; the troll under the bridge, the ogre in the cave, the creature in the lagoon. But that’s who the nameless Gadarene had become. He was the demoniac that lived among the tombs.
We are not given any details of how he fell into this woeful condition, but we are given front rows seats to his amazing deliverance. We do know that for about the space of three years he lived an inhuman existence – naked, enraged, cutting himself with stones, and terrifying any who approached him.
His day of dramatic freedom came when Jesus of Nazareth crossed the sea of Tiberias on a mission to reclaim this solitary soul. A storm rose at sea attempting to capsize the vessel and negate the mission. Jesus rebuked the winds and they ceased.
Arriving on shore the demons bellowed out at Jesus asking Him to leave them alone. He did not comply with their wishes. Instead He cast the ugly horde into a herd of swine, who then ran headlong off a cliff into the sea and drowned.
Suddenly a quietness came over the tormented man and he began to weep in unspeakable gratitude. Jesus sat down next to him, put His arm around his shoulder wept with him. After a while the man began laughing. And Jesus was laughing with Him.
The story ends with this man sitting, clothed and in his right mind. Then Jesus directs him to return to the great city from which he had originally come, and tell the story to all his friends of what Jesus had done.
The bottom line is this – if Jesus can deliver this man from so dark a pit and transform him into such an irresistible force for the Kingdom of God….what in the world do you think He can do with you?