After calming the storms on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus brought his disciples to the eastern shore. There they encountered a man who was possessed by many demons. This man was known by everyone in the region because he lived in the cemetery, ran around naked, cut himself, and yelled out at the top of his lungs. Jesus cast the demons out of the man and into a herd of pigs who proceeded to drown themselves in the Sea of Galilee. The townspeople were upset. And the people of our day would be upset as well. What did those pigs ever do to anyone!
This account is particularly significant for us because this man (like most of us) was a Gentile (a non-Jewish person). Jesus’ primary mission was to the Jews. Thankfully, Jesus is concerned for us as well and is willing to show his grace to the sick and the desperate (that’s us).
But this account contains another challenge for us. After being healed, this man wanted to leave his home and go with Jesus (you would probably want to leave town as well if you had spent the last couple of years running naked through the town). But Jesus said “No.” He wanted this man to go back home and tell everyone what God had done for him.
A lot of people today are hiding (or wishing they could hide). They are hiding from sickness. They are hiding from struggle. They are hiding from conflict. They are hiding from sin. If only they could work for a Christian company. If only they could avoid being around those ungodly students. If only they could hunker down in a Christian commune.
But Jesus has not called us to a life of isolation and ease. He has called us to a difficult and dangerous mission. He has not called us to stay among friends. He has called us to testify of his grace before our enemies.
Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/hiding-boy-girl-child-young-box-1209131/