Of Pigs and Human Nature

by Andrew Forrest

Do you actually want to change, or would you rather wallow in the filthy status quo?

“When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.  ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’
Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.  The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’
He said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.”

Matthew 8:28-34

Jesus performs an astounding miracle in their village, freeing these two men from filth and misery, and the villagers would prefer he leave than cause any more changes to the way things are.

You don’t think that those villagers had parts of their lives that needed healing? But rather than begging Jesus to stay and work among them, their immediate response is to beg him to leave and never come back.

How true of human nature–so often we prefer the pain we know to the possibility of change.

Today’s Scripture

Matthew 8:28-34.

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Mary Ann January 24, 2019 - 7:17 am

I am still stuck on yesterday, one particular part of the verse. What is the meaning of “let the dead bury their own dead?” Is this an example of no excuse to not follow me is good enough?

Andrew Forrest January 24, 2019 - 12:52 pm

Great question. Yes, I think so. The more I read Jesus, the more I notice how provocative he is. He REALLY wants us to get the point. In talking about lust, e.g., he says that if you right hand is causing you lust, you should cut it off; if your eye is causing you lust, you should gouge it out. Now, that makes no literal sense–your hand doesn’t cause lust. But, he wants us to understand that lust is so serious that you need to do whatever it takes to get rid of it. In the same way, Matthew is giving us here some examples of folks who come up with excuses, and Jesus is telling them–stop making excuses. Just come.


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