“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 8:33-34, NIV)
To fully understand this passage you must back up and read verses 28-32. Jesus encounters two demon-possessed men. The demons beg Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs. He does as they ask and the entire herd runs into the lake and drowns. What happens next grieves my spirit and is very disturbing. Motivated by the report of the men’s miraculous deliverance, we see the entire town comes out to meet Jesus. Rather than giving God praise and thanksgiving for the miracles and inviting Jesus into their midst to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and perform even more miracles, they beg him to leave as quickly as possible. While Scripture fails to mention the size of the city, I can’t help but wonder how many men, women, and children remained in sin, sickness, and torment as a result of their actions. A demonic spirit of fear closed the hearts and minds of the residents and led them to reject Jesus.
As a Christian, we should take notice of the strength and power of darkness and evil. Are you a part of a dark sinful company, work team, or family? Are your bosses, coworkers, friends, and family members openly rejecting Jesus and choosing to live in darkness and sin? Are you allowing them to shape your thinking and behavior and determine your destiny? If so, I encourage you to be on guard that you don’t give in to fear and unbelief, positioning yourself to face eternal death.
If you are living and working in darkness and sin, I encourage you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and welcome the life-changing Light, Truth and Grace of Jesus into your life. Child of God, I encourage you to choose where you live and work carefully. Remember, your choices have eternal impact.
Lord, thank You for sending Light, Truth and Grace into this dark world. Jesus, help me be a light for all who live in darkness. Use me as a vessel to invite and welcome others into Your presence. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.