Reading: Luke 8: 26-39
Jesus frees the man from his demons but at a large cost to the community. The man possessed by demons had lived outside of town for many years. Everyone knew he was out there in the caves and they were okay with this arrangement. Sometimes it is nice when trouble is far away. For the man, he had lived for many years with a legion of demons inside him. To be restored to wholeness must have been amazing for him. No wonder he asked if he too could follow Jesus.
The restoration of the man troubled the people of the town. The huge financial loss from the pigs drowning would greatly affect the social order of the community. The people without income from the pigs would now need to be cared for by the community. This would be a large burden to bear. The man who was healed would also need to fit back into the community. Change is hard.
Jesus also offers us freedom. He offers to free us from all that entangles our lives and that keeps us from relationship with God. For some it is a sin that they have long lived with. It has become comfortable. For others is it something now seen as sin as one matures in their faith. They too can be somewhat comfortable with this sin. We rationalize this because change is hard and it requires work. It requires a social reordering of our lives. It means modifying our behavior and learning a new way to live. But like the demon-possessed man reveals, freedom brings great reward. May we trust into the freedom that Jesus Christ offers, knowing that He wants the most for us. May we give to Him all that He wants to take.