Nate Poetzl
Nate Poetzl

I have been wrestling with a passage found in Luke 8.

A man who had many demons cast out of him begged to go with Jesus. “But Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.’ And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:38-39, NKJV).

This man:

  • had been demonized for some time.
  • had refused to wear clothing.
  • had terrorized the village.
  • had been uncontrollable.
  • had been homeless, living in tombs.

A crazed, demonized, naked man is not a typical candidate for a missionary—yet Jesus commissioned him! Luke gave us a second description of the man after his deliverance. He was clothed, in his right mind, sitting and listening to Jesus (v.35).

This is called regeneration. New life. Only Jesus can alter someone so drastically and quickly.

I tend to think a great deal of education is needed before someone is sufficiently equipped. How much did this man know when Jesus sent him? I have a feeling that he had messy, insufficient theology. I would have been terrified to send him.

Jesus took big risks with this man, but He had transformed the man’s life. Telling people what God has done for us begins at regeneration, not when someone is tidied up and becomes knowledgeable.

Prayer + Reflection

  • Ask that God would radically alter lives in your church and community, that you would see this regeneration.
  • The man in Luke 8 might have spent too many years in the “discipleship process” at church. May the Lord manage our equipping, that it would never interfere with our sending.
  • Ask God to help you tell everyone about the regeneration God has done in your life, without worrying about how prepared you are. Share from your heart.

is senior pastor of Faith Chapel in Billings, Mont.