Posted by Michael
“And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.” -Matthew 8:34
Some experiences with Jesus can be overwhelming, and the Gadarene people seem to have had just such an experience. As Jesus was entering the town, two demon possessed people emerged out of tombs and confronted Him. They asked if He had come to torment them before the appointed time. An odd statement to say the least, but the oddity only increased as they asked Jesus a second question. “If you are going to cast us out of these men, would you please cast us into that nearby herd of pigs.” Jesus grants the odd request. The demons entered the pigs, and the pigs ran off a cliff and plunged to their death. Just another normal day with Jesus, but that’s a pretty strange scene for a small town before breakfast. The people of the town came out to meet Jesus, and as might have been expected, asked him to kindly leave. There’s a lot going on in this story, but a simple take away would be this: when Jesus arrives on the scene, things change. Some people are freed from their captivity. Others lose a herd of pigs. The Bible doesn’t comment on what prompted the people to ask Jesus to leave. We can only speculate at their motivations. What we can learn however, is that when Jesus engages us we should be prepared for the unusual, the unpredictable. We should not be surprised when things don’t make immediate sense. It’s a bit presumptuous to assume that we can make sense of things as quickly as the Creator of the Universe. I have to admit my love for logic makes this hard. I often shy away from things that don’t make immediate sense, choosing instead to spend time in places I can understand and often control. But a life that is spent following Jesus doesn’t always get to choose the predictable path. As our leader, Jesus picks the path. He also chooses when the path will begin to make sense to us. Angling to be in control is tempting, but knowing that God is in control is comforting, and will eventually allow us the courage to follow wherever He leads.