The story of “The Gerasene Demoniac” (Luke 8:26-39) is interesting in that every creature involved either directly or indirectly is upset at the close of the account except for the man healed and Jesus. The demons are immediately upset at the presence of Jesus. The pigs are upset to the point of diving off the bank so as to be drowned. The pig-herdsmen are upset at the loss of product. Even the people of the surrounding country are upset to the point of asking Jesus to leave.
The story seems to be trying to let us know how important it is to be ready for Jesus. Faithful people have for years been wearing their “WWJD?” bracelets in what I hope is an honest attempt to model their actions after the actions of Jesus. What we see in today’s reading is an answer to WWJD? He would change everything and in the process leave many people afraid. Folks are afraid that their livelihoods are going to be affected and that their demons will need to be dealt with. This story reminds us that we need to be prepared when Jesus makes himself present in our lives lest we run him off and we miss our chance to follow him along the way.