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

The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:38-39)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When Jesus encountered the rich young man, who inquired what he had to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus responded that he should sell all he has and follow Him (Luke 18:22). But it’s not always necessary to leave everything and start an entirely new way of life to be a follower of Jesus,

When this particular man, from whom the legion of demons had been expelled, asked to go along with Jesus, our Lord denied him his request. “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” Here Jesus teaches that it is not necessary enter into a special vocation to be His follower and it is not necessary to be called as a pastor to proclaim the good news.

Every Christian, by virtue of being delivered from sin, death, and the devil, has the call to proclaim the Gospel in his or her circle of influence. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light,” writes St. Peter (1 Peter 2:8-9). In fact, the most effective place for Christians to spread the good news of Jesus is in their own homes.

One final observation about the content of this man’s proclamation: Jesus instructs him to “declare how much God has done for you.” But this man takes a little liberty with the message. He proclaimed throughout the whole city “how much Jesus had done for him.” The story of the legion of demons fleeing to a herd of pigs was certainly impressive, but the basis of this good news is that Jesus is truly God.

This is also your story to tell. Jesus is God, and He has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

If you cannot speak like angels, If you cannot preach like Paul, You can tell the love of Jesus, You can say He died for all. If you cannot rouse the wicked With the judgment’s dread alarms, You can lead the little children To the Savior’s waiting arms. (Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling, LSB 826:2)

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