Surely who have heard the story about Jesus and the man in the graveyard, right (well, the Bible uses the word tombs but you get my meaning)? The guy was so chock full of demons that when Jesus asked for a name he was told “Legion for we are many.”! The people of the town would chain him up and he would just break the chains and run amuck and day and night they could hearing him yelling and carrying on.
Jesus being the awesome and loving God that is He sends the whole lot packing, setting the man completely free and at the demon’s request allows them to enter a herd of pigs that were having dinner nearby. The pigs for whatever reason ran straight off a cliff and drown. The towns people (who are probably already a nervous wreck at this point, I mean somebody howling in the mountains and tombs is enough to freak anyone out I would guess) discover the fate of the pigs, see the possessed man in his right mind and completely clothed they did what any right minded person would do (right?). They asked Jesus, politely, to get out of dodge. (loosely paraphrased from Mark 5:1-17)
I read this story to my kids yesterday and I was struck by it. There are three things in particular that stood out to me. 1. The people of the town were likely Jewish, and swine were considered unclean for the Jewish people. 2. They cared more about what they had lost than what they had gained. 3. I do the same thing.
How many times have I watched my pigs stampeding to their death and cried foul? Yeah, Jesus I know you came to set me free but that swine there, I am a bit fond of him. I feed that pig of pride myself and I am not quite ready to see him die so back off will ya? Oh and anger? Yeah I know he is a bit fat and ugly and he does eat a lot but I still depend on him just a bit. Leave him alone for now. In fact now that you mention it, I think I will handle this one for bit…thanks anyway. So what if I wallow in the mud a bit…
Oh Lord, help me to just get out of the way and let these fat pigs die!