Jean-Baptiste, good friend in D.R.C is critically ill with liver cancer.

Join me in prayer for JB and his family of 5 children and one due any day now.

Matthew 8

Scripture – vs 29-30 Seeing Jesus, the madmen screamed out, “What business do you have giving us a hard time? You’re the Son of God!” – MSG

Parallel story Mark 5:6-8 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then bellowed in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” – MSG

Parallel story Luke 8:27-28 When he saw Jesus he screamed, fell before him, and bellowed, “What business do you have messing with me? You’re Jesus, Son of the High God, but don’t give me a hard time!” – MSG

Observation – Why did Matthew, Mark & Luke include this story? Dr. Pierre Gilbert from Canadian Mennonite University shed light on this question in his book, Demons Lies & Shadows.  A simple paraphrase – the story highlights that no one is out of reach of Jesus: even if you suffer from thousands of demons nothing can stop you from running up to Jesus and presenting yourself to him. The Gospel writers include the pig reference to demonstrate how plagued the man was and yet he could still reach out to Jesus and Jesus reached out to him.

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. – Romans 8:38-39

Application – Regardless of what I’ve done, what I’ve imagined myself doing, what I may do in the future… I can always run up to Jesus and touch him. Even a thousand demons can’t hold me back from his touch, his love.

Regardless of what others have done, thought or planned to do that is contrary to God’s way, they too are within reach of Jesus. There is always hope!

Prayer – God of love, who reaches out despite any barriers we may present, reach out to me today as I reach for you. Restore my hope for those I’ve given up on. Help me to pray as you would desire me to pray. Help me to boldly share your love with others knowing that no one is out of your loving reach. 

Lloyd Letkeman

Lloyd is married to Carol and the two of them are Regional Mission Mobilizers – Prairie Region for Mennonite Bretheren Mission.