Read Matthew 8
The boat that carried Jesus and his disciples reached the other side of the lake. The storm was gone at the command of Jesus and all was well as far as the disciples were concerned. We don’t know if Jesus got to finish his nap or not.
The boat made landfall and as everyone disembarked, two demon-possessed men met the disciples. They had come from the tombs. They had a reputation for violence. The local people had to avoid this area. It seemed that there was nothing to be done.
Here is the thing. These two possessed men recognized Jesus as the Son of God. They knew who he was. As the disciples crossed the lake and Jesus rebuked the storm, they asked, “Who is this that even the wind and waves obey him?”
The demons knew who this was and they knew their future. It was a future of torment. They asked Jesus, “Aren’t you a little early?”
Those who were cast out of heaven knew the Son of God when they saw him. They knew where they would spend eternity. They knew they were finally outmatched and they begged Jesus not to begin their eternal punishment now. Instead, let them enter a nearby herd of pigs.
Jesus was in the region known as the Gadarenes. This was on the fringes of the land where Jewish law would have looked down upon someone raising pigs. There were pigs and Jesus told the demons to go.
They did and they entered the pigs. The next thing that you know, the pigs are running off a bank—a cliff—and fall into the water and die. Those tending the pigs ran to tell others what had happened.
The townsfolk were less amazed that the two demon-possessed men were free now and more concerned about their business losses. They asked Jesus to leave. They pleaded with him to leave.
It sounds absurd. Are not men more valuable than pigs? What a bunch of crazy people! How ridiculous!
How crazy can people be? This time I am talking about us. How often do we forsake what God is doing in our lives for our comfort zones?
How often are we willing to put up with ungodly things just so we don’t rock the boat?
How often do we ask Jesus to leave us alone so we don’t have to deal with the planks in our eyes?
Yes, this scripture is about a bunch of people who cared more for their pigs than for two men who had been afflicted for years. It’s also a reminder that we should make sure we don’t do the same.
It’s a reminder to work on the planks in our own eyes and surrender to Jesus in all areas of our lives.