Deuteronomy 12:1-32; Luke 8:26-39; Psalms 71:7-16; Proverbs 17:27-28
NT: “Then they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When he got out on land, a demon-possessed man from the town met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes and did not stay in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and said in a loud voice, “What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torment me!” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was guarded, bound by chains and shackles, he would snap the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places… A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged him to permit them to enter the pigs, and he gave them permission. The demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned… Then people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man the demons had departed from, sitting at Jesus’s feet, dressed and in his right mind. And they were afraid… The man from whom the demons had departed begged him earnestly to be with him. But he sent him away and said, “Go back to your home, and tell all that God has done for you.” And off he went, proclaiming throughout the town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:26-29, 32-33, 35, 38-39 CSB)
The man that Jesus and His disciples encountered on the other side of the Sea of Galilee was hopelessly possessed by the kingdom of darkness. We don’t know how he got to that state, but nevertheless, that is the state he was in. He had lost control of himself – and no one else could control him either. Not even chains could keep him bound. Nothing on earth or made by man could help him. Then Jesus arrived on the scene. Notice how quickly the demonic spirits that raged uncontrollably within the man, came into submission to Jesus the Son of the Most High God. The demonic knew who Jesus was, and they had no choice but submit to His authority… even asking permission to enter a herd of swine. Jesus isn’t just a good man and prophet… someone who spoke some wise words a couple thousand years ago. No, He was, is, and will ever be the King of kings, Lord of lords, Son of the Most High God, holding all authority on heaven and earth. What man could not do, Jesus did… and the once-possessed man sat with Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. When the man asked if he could join Jesus’ disciples, Jesus told him to stay where he was and spread the good news of what Jesus had done for him… that the Kingdom of God had come and freed him from bondage. That man became a living sign and wonder that no one could refute – a first-hand witness testifying to who Jesus truly was. That is what Jesus asks of all who have been saved and transformed by Him – to tell all that God has done for you. We don’t have to go to Bible school… we don’t have to join a ministry. We just need to be a living sign and wonder that no one can refute.
Psalms: “I am like a miraculous sign to many, and you are my strong refuge. My mouth is full of praise and honor to you all day long… God, do not be far from me; my God, hurry to help me. May my adversaries be disgraced and destroyed; may those who intend to harm me be covered with disgrace and humiliation. But I will hope continually and will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell about your righteousness and your salvation all day long, though I cannot sum them up. I come because of the mighty acts of the Lord God; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.” (Psalms 71:7-8, 12-16 CSB)
The psalmist knew that he was a living sign and wonder. All of the miraculous ways that God had saved him in the past testified to the goodness and faithfulness of God. His life was evidence of God’s great power. Though God had saved him in the past, he trusted in God’s unwavering faithfulness and knew that God would continue to save him presently and in the future. Therefore, with confidence, he said that he would hope continually… unceasingly in the Lord – and that his lips would always tell of God’s wondrous salvation. As long as he lived, he would be a walking, talking sign and wonder, pointing people to the one true God. Our lives should be no different.