This is the only place in the gospel of Luke where Jesus steps foot in Gentile territory. His reception is quite different from the ones he receives in Galilee. Rather than being pursued by the crowds longing to be healed, he is met by one person who is possessed by a legion of demonic spirits. This gives us a glimpse not only of Jesus’ expanded mission and ministry, but this is also a show of his power over evil. When the spirits enter the swine and they hurl themselves off the cliff, those who are responsible for the pigs cannot keep this story to themselves. I would imagine part of their story had to do with the loss of income that was now resting at the bottom of the sea. Resisting and reacting to what Jesus had done, they run him off.
Quite often, when we ask Jesus into our lives, we aren’t ready to get rid of our demons. We kind of like holding onto our anger, our bitterness, our pride, our unhealthy habits – the legion of demons. We tend to be more like the throngs, asking Jesus to leave, than the man who celebrates the change Jesus has brought to his life.
What are the “demons” in your life? What do you find hardest to let go? What part of Jesus’ calling on your life do you resist?
In prayer, thank Jesus for his power to set you free from whatever it is that keeps you from the life he offers. Commit yourself to accepting his grace and the transformative power of his love.