Showing Jesus the exit door

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Then all the people of the region of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left”. Luke 8:37

This story is about a demon possessed man whose description can cause our hearts to trepidate. He had a legion (six thousand demons) living inside him. He was abandoned by his family and friends. He wore no clothes and was bound with chains which he often broke with his brutal strength. He cut his flesh with stones and lived in the cemetery among the dead. When Jesus set him free, there was a visible change for all to see. He looked like a brand new person, having a sane mind, fully clothed and sitting at the feet of Jesus. However, the sight of a demonized robotic maniac transformed by the power of God only created a suspicion about Jesus. What a sad way to end this powerful story, as Luke records, so He (Jesus) got into the boat and left (Gadarenes). The world is unwilling to take a changed life, a change that is truly genuine and wholesome. Today’s society reacts with shock and disbelief when a person’s life is transformed by God. It is becoming increasingly difficult to convince people that God is still at work. Each of us having a worldview and trying to see God through our lens of experience has only limited us from understanding this Supreme Being. We are almost at the verge of showing Him the exit door!

Limiting God with our rational thinking

In a postmodern world God is becoming almost obsolete. We are dealing with humanistic minds which generally prefer rational thinking and evidence inspite of supernatural experiences and absolute truth. The people of Gadarenes tried everything to tame this man. But Jesus with one word restored his sanity. When human strength desperately fails reaching the end of the tether, some finally realize it has to be God. Others still brush it as mere chance because they don’t like to talk about God. The Bible says, “What is impossible with man is possible with God”. This only shows the incomparable difference between the frailty of man and the omnipotence of God. If we are not prepared to allow God into every area of our life we may never come to understand His greatness.

Divided on racial lines

This place was chiefly inhabited by the pagans during the first century. We are sure about it because the Jews considered pigs as unclean, whereas the chief occupation of the Gadarenes seemed to be tending the pigs. It would have caused a lot of displeasure and uneasiness to see a Jew in their region. Jesus was not welcome because of His racial identity and the hostility that prevailed between the Jews and the Gentiles. Since we have been divided so strongly on racial and religious lines, we have struggled to present Jesus even in our own backyard. Sometimes even Christians are divided on their denominational positions literally tearing apart the very body of Christ. This division has kept Jesus away not only from our families and churches but also the gentiles from receiving Him.

Repressing the work of the Spirit

Jesus’ ministry was an open demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit at work. The Pharisees derided the whole thing as demonic even after seeing people being totally set free. We may not realize this, but it is possible to repress the Holy Spirit from touching our lives when we don’t believe His work. God wants us to discern every false spirit; at the same time He expects us to be open to the Holy Spirit. It was a tragedy that the people of Gadarenes were not convinced by a fool proof miracle but rather filled with fear. Sometimes our apprehensions and doubts about healings, miracles and people being delivered can limit our spiritual growth and God from freely working. In fact a biased biblical view can keep us from receiving God’s intended blessings for our lives.

Jesus never forces a spiritual experience on us without our consent or even His blessing for that matter. He always expects us to be obedient to His word. It is possible to keep Him away from our personal lives when we are not open to the complete work of the Holy Spirit. Archeologists discovered the tombs in Gadarenes and have found that most people lived and died in an unfortunate state.  Jesus was so close to them but they refused Him to change their lives. For all you know, we might be silently showing Jesus the exit door when He has reached out to us with open arms.

Sheridon Vedhavinod

Sheridon Vedhavinod is a software professional who obeyed the call of God in his life to enter God’s ministry in 2003. He is a gifted Bible teacher, gospel singer and Senior Pastor of King of Glory Sanctuary, Chennai. He serves as the Executive Director in El-Bethel Endtime Missions. He is also a member of the gospel quartet - The New Covenant Singers.