So they arrived at the other side, in the Gerasene country across the lake from Galilee. As he was climbing out of the boat a man from the city of Gadara came to meet him, a man who had been demon-possessed for a long time. Homeless and naked, he lived in a cemetery among the tombs. As soon as he saw Jesus he shrieked and fell to the ground before him screaming, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of God Most High? Please, I beg you, oh, don't torment me!"
For Jesus was already commanding the demon to leave him. This demon had often taken control of the man so that even when shackled with chains, he simply broke them and rushed out into the desert, completely under the demon's power. "What is your name?" Jesus asked the demon. "Legion," they replied - for the man was filled with thousands of them! They kept begging Jesus not to order them into the Bottomless Pit.
A herd of pigs was feeding on the mountainside nearby, and the demons pled with him to let them enter into the pigs. And Jesus said they could. So they left the man and went into the pigs, and immediately the whole herd rushed down the mountainside and fell over a cliff into the lake below, where they drowned. The herdsmen rushed away to the nearby city, spreading the news as they ran.
Soon a crowd came out to see for themselves what had happened and saw the man who had been demon-possessed sitting quietly at Jesus' feet, clothed and sane! And the whole crowd was badly frightened. Then those who had seen it happen told how the demon-possessed man had been healed. and everyone begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone (for a deep wave of fear had swept over them). So he returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake.
The man who had been demon-possessed begged to go too, but Jesus said no.
"Go back to your family," he told him, :and tell them what a wonderful thing God has done for you." Luke 6: 26-39 (TLB)
Linda Chandra is from Banten, Indonesia. Years ago, Linda knew a little girl who collected used cans on the street. She liked to write on used papers and put them in the cans. Most people on the street ignored her, and she was often insulted and called "used-cans girl." What she did was considered stupid and meaningless.
When she grew up, she remembered that she had been invited to church when she was young. She felt the Holy Spirit encouraging her to go to church, so she went. There she heard the story of a man who was an outcast - unclothed, living in a cemetery, possessed by demons, and considered insane. Yet Jesus helped him, and God's love saved and changed the man. No one is meaningless for Jesus.
In the same way, even when people did not respect the girl and considered her worthless, Jesus sought her, loved her, and changed her life. The "used-cans girl" is now used by God to teach, write, build mission houses, and preach the great love of God. That little girl was Linda. Even when we feel worthless like used tin cans - thrown away and trampled on - we can shine the light of Jesus for God's glory.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your amazing and saving love. Remind us that through you we are worthy and can shine light for your glory, in Jesus' name, amen