And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
The power of Christ upon a life is evident all around us, from examples in Scripture to people we know and within our own lives. And when Jesus is at work, He changes everything about us. He adds things that weren’t there before. He removes things that shouldn’t be there. He rearranges things that were a little mixed up. He fixes things that are broken. He heals things that hurt. He fills the empty places. He gives us new desires and abilities. He changes our perspective and our purpose and our focus.
This man who once was filled with a legion of devils encounters Jesus Christ and is never the same—can never be the same. And this change is first visible by his actions. He once roamed the mountains and the tombs, crying, hurting himself, tormented himself and tormenting others. He raged out of control and wild, untamable. But now He sits filled with peace, quiet and calm. And when we encounter Jesus for ourselves, this same change should occur in our lives. We stop living like we used to and doing those things that were harmful and start doing the things God wants us to do. We change our habits and our behaviors to line up with righteousness instead of the old sinful paths we used to follow.
Along with his actions, this man’s appearance also changed. He sat clothed with Jesus. He looked different. And when Jesus and His holiness enter our lives, we should look a lot different than we did before. We won’t blend in with the world, but we’ll shine as lights. His love will be visible through us. And when God looks upon us, He’ll see the righteousness of His Son, not the dirty rags we once were wrapped in.
The most important change this man experienced was an internal one. He was now in his right mind. When we step out from under the control of the devil, our minds should be different. The kinds of things we think about and choose to pursue should change. The desires of our hearts align with the things that God wants for us. Our thoughts within us are no longer consumed by the flesh, but guided by the Spirit. Our hearts are changed from a stone altar built for our idols to a throne for Jesus Himself to reside on. Who we truly are on the inside is transformed as the old man leaves and the new man enters in thanks to the work of Christ in our lives.