A study by Stanford Law School found 45% of prison inmates in California were treated for mental illness within one year. Across our country, the seriously mentally ill make up 20% of all jail inmates. Many more have mental problems. When released, almost all have no food or shelter, so they quickly are back in jail. Mental illness is a serious problem in our country. In Luke chapter 8 we see how Jesus went out of his way to find a mentally challenged man. We read this, “As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in a cemetery outside the town.” Jesus felt sorry for the man. He commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. As soon as the demon saw Jesus, he shrieked, fell down in front of Jesus, and screamed, “Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” Jesus gave the demons permission to leave the man and enter a nearby herd of swine. They promptly ran down a hill and drowned themselves in the lake. When people rushed out to see what had happened, they saw the man who had been freed from the demons “sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane.” Jesus, our Leader, went out of his way to heal one mentally and spiritually disturbed man. We His followers can surely lend our voice, our vote, and our resources to help those mentally ill today.
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