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Restored to a Right Mind

A Word for Today | Luke 8:35

Few of Jesus’ miracles involved such a radical transformation as His deliverance of the demon-possessed man in the region of the Gerasenes.  Having been possessed by a “Legion” of demons, the poor man went about naked, tormented, and alone.  His bestial strength meant that he could not be held down and his despair caused him to lurk among tombs.  Jesus arrived and the demons begged Jesus to be cast out but not sent into the abyss (Lk. 8:26-33).  But Jesus not only delivered the man from the demons – and a life that depicted the very torments of hell – He also saved him to a redeemed and blessed life.  If Luke’s description of the man’s torment is a terrifying portrayal of the life of sin, the man’s final condition presents the fullness of what it means to be delivered by God’s grace: “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind” (Lk. 8:35). 

Let’s look at these items one by one.  By sitting at Jesus’ feet, the former demoniac shows what spiritual deliverance is all about.  Having been set free from torment, he does not race off to the city or to his old friends – much less the most convenient sources of worldly pleasure, but he sits at Jesus’ feet and worships.  The Bible’s descriptions of heaven primarily consist of worship, and those who delight to be in God’s house worshiping in Christ’s name reveal the spiritual freedom to which Jesus saves us.  Second, the man was now clothed.  No longer living in guilt or shame, he wears the garments provided by Christ, just as the Bible says that believers are clothed in His perfect righteousness (Rom. 5:17).  He is therefore able to dwell in God’s presence with perfect peace, because Jesus has clothed him!  As one of our hymns rejoices: “Jesus, thy blood and righteousness / My beauty are, my glorious dress.”[1]  Third, Luke gives his summation: he was “in his right mind” (Lk. 8:35).  He had been delivered not just from raving lunacy but to a right mind.  If we will turn to God for the light of His truth in Scripture, Jesus will do the same for us, renewing us day by day in the spirit of our minds.  This is why Christians are able to worship, live in faith and love, and pursue purity of life – because Jesus has restored us to a right mind through His Word!

Are you able to worship God?  Can you sit in His presence, not restless but with peace and joy?  Not seeking excitement or entertainment, but spiritually worshipping God on the basis of His truth?  This is where your restless anxiety will find its cure, in the worship of God through Jesus Christ.  You were made to worship God, and Christ’s saving work is such as to restore the image of God in you by the Holy Spirit, giving you a sound and godly mind, which is no better seen than that you want to worship God through Him.  And as your mind is increasingly renewed, you will want more and more of your life to take the form of worship to God as you bask in the grace and peace of Jesus. 

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

[1] Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness,” 1739.

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