Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 39:32-40:16; Luke 8:22-39

When He came out on land, a certain man from the city who had demons, and for a long time he did not wear clothes and did not remain in a house but among the tombs. (Luke 8:26)

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why did Jesus get in that boat? Why did Jesus travel through that storm? Why on earth did Jesus go to the land of the Gerasenes, where no one but pagan Gentiles who herded pigs lived? It's not a very great sounding vacation spot for a popular Jewish Rabbi. Doesn't He have better places to go, better things to do?

No, He doesn't.

Jesus has only one thing in mind--to save this man who had demons. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He goes after His sheep. There are other sheep not of His fold who aren't Israelites. This demon-possessed man fit the bill, and so Jesus travels across the sea of Galilee just for him.

He saves Him. He casts out the demon. The man is clothed, no longer naked. He's in his right mind, no longer possessed. He's sitting with Jesus and His Twelve and is sent back home, no longer living amongst the dead. That's what Jesus traveled all that way to do.

That's not just the sort of Jesus He is for that man. He's that way for you, too, dear Christian!

He gives up His life for each and every sheep. Each is as precious to Him as the next. He draws them all to Himself. He makes them each His sheep. Each is baptized. Each is forgiven. Each is fed with His Body and Blood. Each is set free from the devil's kingdom, rescued from sin, and each will be called back to life from the grave that holds him. That's the sort of Good Shepherd Jesus is.

He did it for that man. He has done it for you. He'll continue to do it. And He will do it on the Last Day. You may die, and your body will be buried. But that's nothing for your dear Shepherd. He went through all that for you. You don't need to fear. He doesn't have anything better to do than save. He doesn't have anything more important to do than raise you up on the Last Day and take you, body and soul, to be with Him in His Father's Kingdom forever. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

I am Jesus' little lamb, Ever glad at heart I am; For my Shepherd gently guides me, Knows my need and well provides me, Loves me ev'ry day the same, Even calls me by my name. (I Am Jesus' Little Lamb, LSB 740:1)

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