“Goodness is greater than evil"
Reading: Luke 8:26-39, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
There was a man who literally became crazy.
People felt that he was dangerous to their town.
So, they chained him and bound him.
But every time, the man broke his chains and ran away.
Then he lived alone in the tombs, torturing and hurting himself.
He didn’t wear anything.
He looked like a wild animal.
But God is interested in this person.
His life was precious and priceless in the eyes of God.
He was very important to God.
God also wanted to help him serve the living God with a good purpose.
In order to do that, he needed to be healed, and discover his purpose in life.
Then he could help people to find their purpose and meaning in God.
God imagine that he could change people who live in that town.
However, the present situation did not look very good.
Evil spirits possessed him.
The problem was spiritual.
What would God do at this moment?
How would God solve this problem and bring restoration?
God likes to choose another person to solve this problem with God.
After choosing that person, God sends the Holy Spirit to teach and guide that person to be prepared. Then later, God sent the prepared to solve the problem.
To solve this problem, this time God had chosen Jesus.
Then after long training for goodness, the Holy Spirit prompted Jesus to sail across the Sea and to meet this man.
Then the demon-possessed man came right out to meet Jesus, as well.
The students of Jesus were following to see what Jesus was doing.
To discover their calling and live accordingly, they need to see and think about what Jesus is doing.
Jesus was moving on with his faith.
Jesus ordered the evil spirits to come out of this man.
Then they were shocked, looking at Jesus trying to cure this scary man.
OoO. The evil spirits were crying out:
"Son of God, Jesus, what do you want with me? I beg you, don't torture me!"
Without using his power, kindly Jesus asked:
"What is your name?"
The evil spirits answered:
"We are army, because we are just so many.
Please don’t send us to the place of empty confinement.
Instead, send us to the pigs on that hillside.”
Then as if Jesus were treating them humanly, Jesus listened to them.
He sent them to the pigs.
When the evil spirits got into the pigs, all the pigs were rushing down the steep bank and were all drowned in the lake.
Hearing what had happened, many town people came out.
As they were told, they saw the man who became very calm and gentle.
Suddenly, they were filled with more and more fearful thoughts.
They worried about what Jesus would do next.
Something had to stop for awhile so that they could relax and have time to think about this situation.
So, they asked Jesus to leave.
Well, Jesus listens to them and simply goes away.
Jesus is patient and gentle.
He wants to get involved in people’s life only when they invite him in.
Jesus doesn’t like to coerce people.
So, Jesus listens to them understanding that they need to think about this awhile.
Here we see the character of God.
God’s first instinct is to listen to you and give you what you are asking.
But now, think about this.
God wants you to ask things according to the will of God.
God wants you to ask and pray knowing that God is good to you.
Anyway, in order to leave this town, Jesus got into the boat.
But the man who was cured was thankful for Jesus.
Because of Jesus, now all is well.
Every manner of things is well.
So, he said to Jesus:
“Jesus, I want to be with you.
Now I know who Jesus is.
Can I come with you?”
Jesus not only loved this guy but also loved this man’s village people.
His village people just asked Jesus to leave.
But this person could go to them and explain about the goodness of God.
This person can share about the goodness of Jesus Christ.
Maybe, he might not need to say anything.
He just needed to simply walk around the town, being nicely dressed and having a peace of mind.
That could have been enough to say:
“I am healed.
Jesus comes and gave me God’s victory.
Jesus removes my dark and harmful thoughts; unruly behaviors; and craziness.
Jesus saves me from evil spirits that even pigs don’t like.
I am his witness.”
His healing is complete.
He can restart his life.
His mind is clean and clear.
God protects his mind to think peaceful thoughts.
God gives him good ideas.
The Holy Spirit inspires him to think, choose, and create good things.
With this good mind, he can step into his future.
Now he can truly live a good life that God desires for him.
So Jesus is saying something to him like this:
“Return home and tell what God has done for you.
The Holy Spirit will help you to explain that.
In various opportunities, try to explain how much God is good.
Then, you will experience more of me.
Then, you will see many good fruits coming out.
More people will get to know that goodness overcomes evil.”
The person experienced a tough time.
But the problems in his life turned out to be an occasion through which he could experience the goodness of Jesus.
But now his past experience can be used for good.
Even though in the beginning, he may shock people by just simply walking around, people will ask him:
“What really happened?
We were so fearful because we didn’t know anything about spiritual worlds.”
Then he could say:
“Jesus, through his goodness removes evil.
With his pure and gentle spirit, he drives out bad/evil spirits.
With his sound mind, Jesus removes bad influencing spirits that cause evil thoughts.
I have never known that I could think so clear like this.
When God works on my inner life, I can be calm and think clearly.
It is like God is purifying my heart and then use my intuition.
Then I can follow God in faith feeling the heart of God.”
Many years later, then he might have confessed like this:
“Goodness and gentleness are stronger than any wickedness and any evil.
For that good purpose, God has called me.
So, now everything works together for goodness. (Romans 8:28)
When God work in your life, you could learn how much God really loves you and your community and how much God has prepared you for a community.”
This story also tells us that bad situations can turn out to be good situations in Christ. Everything can be reinterpreted in Jesus.
Whatever happens in your life may turn into a blessing to other people in Jesus, one day.
Just like this man is called to tell the goodness of Jesus, we are also called to share the story of Jesus with our world.
In order to share Jesus, first, you need to know Jesus.
In order to know Jesus, you need to experience Jesus and reflect on Jesus.
To do that, you can read the gospels.
But you don’t learn a lot by just reading.
When you imagine as you read the story of Jesus, you learn who Jesus is.
Then try to write down your imagination and thoughts.
Writing can be your spiritual disciple or become your prayer.
Sometimes, you feel the presence of God, as you write down your impression.
That may be a sign that you come near to the mind of God.
Try to write until you can really explain Jesus, thinking about how God is working on in your life.
Try to organize your thought on Jesus.
Then you may share a deep meditated Jesus.
Then God can still produce something so precious.
I wish you always meet good and nice people in your life.
But just in case if you meet some people even bothering you, remember that every people that you meet in your life, may turn into a blessing, too.
Through them, you may move toward God and learn more of Jesus.
Through them, you may journey into fulfilling God’s perfection in you.
Through them, you may discover your purpose and meaning in life.
These experiences may force you in a way to really think about what you are really called to do.
So, just prayerize your worry.
Everything may be happening for you to find the right track in Jesus.
Even difficult experiences may produce something good if you can be patient with it.
During that time, you may patiently discover God’s hope that may be hidden in your heart.
You may hear again God’s whisper that is being proclaimed for your life.
You may discover God’s intention for your life.
You may be able to share what God has shared with you.
You may share the goodness of God.