Unlimited: The People Ask Jesus to Leave
Nov 24, 2020 723
A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region (Mark 5:11-17, NIV).
Jesus was confronted by a man possessed by many demons in the land of the Gerasenes. The demons knew that they are about to be cast out of this man, and they begged Jesus not to cast them out of the region where they are.
They had it good here, and they don’t want to leave. What happens next is dramatic!
Jesus commanded the demons to leave this man, but they asked Jesus to allow them to go into a herd of pigs nearby, rather than to send them out of the region.
Jesus allowed them to do this, but the demons made the pigs go mad and they drowned themselves in the lake. This region on the western side of Lake Galilee wasn’t Jewish. That’s why their main business was keeping pigs. Their livelihoods depended on it.
The people here didn’t care that their neighbour had been liberated from the power of Satan. No, they cared more about their money, and so they begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone. And so, he did.
The fact that these people got rid of Jesus shows that the demons got what they wanted. They had stayed in that region, controlling the minds of the people.
Instead of a demon-possessed man, it was really a demon-possessed community. And the sign was that they valued money more than Jesus.
When these people asked Jesus to leave them, he did. Jesus will never force himself into your life. And the tragedy is that when we value the things of this world, like money, our achievements, or our pride more than Jesus, we’re asking him to leave.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Take some time right now to ask God to send his Spirit to search your heart and the choices that you have made. Instead of begging Jesus to leave you, like those people in this story, commit to making him first in your life.