Monday, December 22, 2008

Luke, Chapter 8 part 2

When I think of misplaced priorities I think of the second part of chapter 8 of Luke. This is where we see one of Jesus’ miracles performed for a crowd that puts more emphasis on the earthly results than on what Jesus actually accomplished. I am referring to the story of the demon-possessed man and how Jesus cast out the demons into a herd of pigs. Jesus performs this great feat, something that no one else can do, yet they are more concerned about what happened to the pigs.

32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. – Luke 8:32-37

Where these people happy that Jesus cured this man? Were they amazed that he could do what He did? No. They were more concerned that they had lost a herd of pigs. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

One of the things that frustrates me is how my efforts to reach someone with the Word of God can turn up void. I try to reach people, yet nothing happens. Later on, someone else may reach that person, however. That person may be reached years later because of a seed I planted, or it could be for a totally different reason. The most important part is that the person is finally reached. We kind of see that here as the people of Gerasenes turn Jesus away. Though He is asked to leave, Jesus asks the demon-possessed man to stay and proclaim the gospel. This is what the disciples did on a smaller scale. The important thing is that a seed was planted. If they wouldn’t listen to Jesus, maybe they would listen to someone else.

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