I could not imagine living my life without Jesus Christ. Since I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior in 1977, growing in relationship with him and in obedience to his will has been my earnest desire. I have countless stories to tell about living by faith in Christ and in dependence on his grace. That is why I was dumbfounded when I read John 8:37.
And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.
Jesus Christ–Creator of heaven and earth, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world–was in their midst. The people of the region had tremendous opportunities to know Jesus more, to experience his infinite power, and to simply host the God of the universe. I would have loved to be in their shoes. Instead, they begged Jesus to go away. “Leave us alone!” they demanded. So Jesus left. And perhaps for the rest of their lives, the people of Gerasenes lived a life without Jesus.
For me, telling Jesus to leave you alone is tragic. Unfortunately, we do that everyday. We tell Jesus to leave our schools and public offices alone. We tell Jesus to leave Christmas and Easter alone, seasons that celebrate his birth and his resurrection. We tell Jesus to leave us alone when we reject his Word and choose to live by our own rules.
I am sure that many people disagree with me. They don’t want Jesus to be in control of their lives. They just want to be left alone. They choose to go their own way. So, Jesus leaves.
And then we wonder why our lives, and our world, are in a mess!
Photo credit: Cindy Ricardo, Miami Examiner
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