This story made me very curious today. I’ve heard it all my life. It’s the one where Jesus heals the demon possessed guys who no one can even go near because they are so violent. He sends the demons into a heard of pigs who take off for the water and drown themselves. That part is curious enough. I had a dog once that may have needed to find a large body of water.
The part that strikes my curiosity today about this story was the towns people’s’ reaction to Jesus. I would like to think if he was here today and delivered someone whom everyone feared even being near them, I’d want him to stick around and take care of some other people. They didn’t just ask him to leave their presence or their town. They asked him to leave their entire region. Really? He just made their community safer and he is asked to leave and go far away. What? Where they afraid he’d sneak back into town and deliver some more people from the enemy? I just wonder what they were afraid of. Was it a simple matter of the loss of the pigs? Where they afraid of what else his presence might cost them? I may be wrong, but it appears to me they were more afraid of Jesus than these demon possessed guys. They had apparently figured out what to do with them. Stay away from them. Avoid them. Don’t pass by them.
But here was Jesus who had just made them safer than they were the day before. He had just cleared another path for them. It was now safe for them to go that way and they wanted him to leave.
I wonder if we are really that much different from those people. I wonder if I am that much different. I wonder how many times he has delivered me from danger and I turn around and ask him to leave. It’s okay Jesus, I can take it from here. Your power is too much. I’ve got some things I’d hate for you to drown. I wonder how many dangerous things I have managed a work around that he could make completely safe for me if I would just trust him. I wonder if I am more concerned about what his presence might cost me than I am the things of the enemy I have learned to accept and avoid.
He came here to set the captives free, all the captives. I hope we don’t send him away when he’s just getting started.