You may know the story of Jesus casting demons out of a violent demon-possessed man, which then entered into a herd of pigs that rushed headlong into the sea and perished. (Luke 8:26-39) I got a new perspective on this story on Sunday morning from our pastor.
Who do you think had the bigger problem—the demonized man or the townspeople? Consider for a minute:
–Who sat and listened to Jesus (after sanity returned)?
And who were afraid when they saw the man sitting there, clothed and sane (more so than when he was insane)?
–Who begged to go with Jesus?
And who begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone?
–Who went joyfully to spread the news about what Jesus had done?
And who were more concerned for their pigs more than the plight of a tormented soul or the presence of the Savior among them?
Where do you and I see ourselves in this picture?
It’s another normal day. The field work, the children, the cooking, laundry, watching the pigs… oh yes, and the local madman living in the cemetery just outside town. They’ve tried to tie him up but it was no use, so they just avoid him and hope he leaves them alone. (Story from Mark 5:1-20)
Then comes Jesus and invades their day. Upsets their world. What did He do? He, who had the power & authority to liberate this human being from the demons that had reduced him to a beastly existence, took pity on him and did just that.
I don’t know why Jesus allowed the demons to invade the herd of pigs and drive them to drown themselves in the lake. But obviously, His priority was the life and sanity of one man, much more precious than a herd of pigs.
Normally, when Jesus did a miracle, the people who witnessed it were thrilled. Not so this time. When the townspeople came out to see what had happened, this was their reaction:
–They were afraid. (Mark 5:16) Why? Of having their world upset? (Surely not afraid of a man who was no longer violent…)
–They begged Jesus to leave them! They preferred the company of pigs and madmen.
Which do you and I prefer today?
–Life as usual, economic security, tolerance of evil as long as it stays in its place?
–Jesus sweeping in with His pity and power, bringing freedom for the hurting and oppressed?