34When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. 35People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 36Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.
So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. 38The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39“No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.
So Jesus just lovingly rescued a life that was in shambles from a legion of demons, and the people are sending him away in fear. What are they afraid of? Who are they afraid of? What is going on?
Perhaps the pigs can give us a clue. Pigs were unclean to the Jews and these people shouldn’t have had anything to do with them. The pigs should have been almost worthless because no one would buy their meat. Yet it seems the pigs had real value and the people had no problem at all with the pigs.
Life is like that. If we gradually accept a small sin here because it makes things easier and a small sin there because it is profitable, we pretty quickly end up herding the pigs in our life. (I know pigs are great now and God declared them clean. Please, just go with this story in that time.) I know I have chosen the pigs over Jesus many times and probably will many times more…before I go to bed tonight!
But what does Jesus do. No anger, no revenge, no threats. Jesus just gets in the boat to await another opportunity on another day.
Oh yeah, he does one more thing. He sends his newest disciple back to those people with the command to ” tell them everything God has done for you.” I hate to give away the ending, but the man goes back and the next time Jesus comes to this same area he is welcomed and there is a great harvest.
Holy Spirit, give me the courage to choose Jesus instead of the pigs today. Give me the courage to go to my friends and family and tell them everything God has done for me. Give me the courage to be loving when I am rejected.
Well what are you still in the boat for?