He was crazy, naked, homeless, and demon-possessed. He lived in a cemetery and could not be restrained or controlled by chains or by force.

When Jesus and his followers arrived in Gerasenes, across the Lake of Galilee, he rushed toward Jesus, screaming at him and begging him to leave.

But Jesus had compassion on the insane man. He ordered the legion of a thousand demons to leave the man and allowed them to go into a herd of pigs. The pigs immediately rushed into the water and drowned themselves. The pig farmers were scared and ran into the nearby town to explain how their meat supply had been destroyed.

When the people heard the farmers’ story, they couldn’t believe it. They came out to see for themselves. Imagine their surprise when they saw the previously insane man, now in his right mind, clothed, and sitting at Jesus feet. They were so afraid of Jesus that they asked him to leave. As he turned to leave, the man asked if he could go with Jesus. But Jesus told him to stay and tell everyone about what God had done for him.

If I had been there, I would have never thought this man was Jesus’ reason for the trip. Only one person in that whole region was healed by Jesus that day. And from my perspective, the previously insane man was the least likely person to receive God’s grace.

Many people believe John 3:16 in that they can accept that God loves the world. But they have trouble believing that God loves them personally. They say, “oh you don’t know the terrible things that I have done. How could God forgive me?”

Really? Are your sins worse than those of a man possessed by a thousand demons? Jesus had compassion on that man and healed him. He was the only one to receive the mercy of God that day. Today and every day Jesus cares about individuals, including you. Will you receive his gift of salvation, or will you turn away in fear and doubt?