“…So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8: 37-38.
Being a Christian requires change. It’s not enough to just claim to believe or say that you’re a Christian. There should be evidence in your life that you truly follow Jesus. You have to be transformed. The great news is that Jesus is in the transformation business. There are numerous examples of transformation in the Bible.
If ever a person experienced transformation in the fullest sense, it was the man Jesus met on the far side of the Sea of Galilee found in Luke 8:26-39. The story begins in verse 22: “One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.” The Bible doesn’t tell us but you have to wonder if Jesus crossed the sea because he had a transformation appointment with someone who was viewed as a lost cause. Read the full passage with any kind of objectivity and you would probably agree that this case was hopeless, way beyond rehabilitation.
Luke tells us “…for a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town.” (v. 27). In addition, the man was also possessed by demons. “Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power.” (v. 29). It just couldn’t get any worse for this man. He was shunned and alone. Things were bleak is a mammoth understatement. Then Jesus arrived. Jesus commanded the demons to come out of him.
This man’s life was completely changed in a matter of moments. For the first time in a long time, he was in full control of his mind. He could think. There was no fear. No torment. Just peace.
Our transformation may not be as instantaneous and dramatic as the changes in a demon-possessed man. It probably will not be a one-time event. The Christian life is one of continual transformation. God longs that we would be so open to the moving of the Spirit that we allow Him to continually transform us. So what does continual transformation look like? Romans 12:1 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” We serve a God who is always for us, and always with us. In His power and love, He wants to continually mold and shape us into His likeness, that we might enjoy this life for all it can be.
- Where are you right now in your faith journey? Where would you like to be?
- Jesus had no desire to let his disciples remain in status quo mode. Agree or disagree and why?