Luke is writing to remind us that no power on earth can separate us from God’s love and protection. No storm, no demon, no stigma, no disease, can take His love away. Luke is painting a picture and emphasizing the contrast between light and dark, faith and fear. In today’s Scripture we see Jesus set a man free from a legion of woe, and then we see the response of the pathetically fearful crowd contrasted against the passionately faithful man.
In Luke 8, Jesus leads his disciples -- not into temptation, but directly into trouble. Through four stories, Luke shows Jesus teaching his closest disciples not to avoid trouble, but to actively engage it head-on. Jesus is the one who has His crew sail right into the storm. It is Jesus who chooses to land at a graveyard where the demon-possessed man cries out in bone-chilling agony. Jesus leads his friends smack into the awkward and embarrassing social situation of being touched by a woman who is “untouchable” and “unclean.” And it is Jesus who closes His disciples in a room with the lifeless corpse of a little girl.
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh” (Galatians 5.17 KJV)
Jesus recognized that there are those who hear, and those who really hear. I enjoy the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases Isaiah 6.9 in verse 10: “Their eyes are open, but they can’t see a thing. Their ears are open but they can’t hear a thing.” Do you know anyone like that? Do they live in your house? Do they wear your pajamas?