Luke 8 tells a familiar story many have found great comfort in during their Christian walk. It starts in verse 22 and tells the story of Jesus calming the storm while his fearful, faithless disciples panicked. Jesus speaks to the storm and brings calm where there once was chaos. Just like the first disciples many of us have had moments where we look at what Jesus has done and say “who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey Him?” It is a powerful story that encourages us when the seas are raging all around us.
But… where was he going? In the very beginning it is clear that Jesus is the one who instructed them to get into the boat and told them where to go. “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” Jesus knew there would be a storm. What was waiting on the other side that Jesus so intently sought after?
It’s not really what was on the other side, it’s who was on the other side. As soon as Jesus steps onto land He is met by a man afflicted by a legion of demons. The man is described in detail. He wears no clothes and has no home. Instead he lives among the tombs and people put shackles and chains on him to try and contain him. He was a tortured, disturbed and deeply scarred man. He was the one Jesus faced down the storm to go find.
In an act of amazing love and grace Jesus heals the man. When the people come out to see what all the fuss is about they find him sitting at the feet of Jesus “clothed and in his right mind.” What a restoration, what a healing, what a Saviour! The people of the area are afraid and beg Jesus to go. From their reaction it seems they would have preferred this man stay in chains. The man who had been healed begs Jesus to stay. Jesus, before leaving, gives him these instructions- “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.”
From all indications the only reason Jesus set out on this journey at all was to meet this man. Once he ministers to this man he quietly gets in the boat and leaves. Luke describes the scene Jesus initially left in vs. 4 as a great crowd with people from town after town. He left thousands to find this one. He faced a storm to find this one. He faced down a legion of demons to heal this one. He went to whatever lengths were necessary for this one.
How far will you go for one? Our great Savior calls us to come and follow Him and treat others the way He treated them. He treated this man as if he was all that mattered. Will you do the same? Will you sacrifice your comfort zone, your safety, your time, your priorities to follow Jesus on His mission to “seek and save the lost?”
You are important and valuable to Jesus. So is everyone you meet; go find them and tell them. Know Every Name.