When Jesus Christ walked the earth, He healed the sick, delivered the demon possessed, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, turned water to wine… goodness gracious! The list goes on and on through ages past to eternity. And as sure as His miracles happened so did the Devil have his day.
As Jesus was coming into the country of Gergesenes he met two men possessed of demons; men who terrorized people by blocking the road so that no man could pass; likely struck terror in the hearts of children and adults alike, menaces to society… until the day that Jesus passed by. He healed the two men and cast out their demons and the nightmare on the road to Gergesenes was over. But the nightmare in the city lived on. The problem wasn’t only the possession of people it was power of Satan’s persuasion.
So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
They asked Jesus to leave! He Who had just saved their city from terror was asked to leave. Does this strike you as odd as it did me? I have been in scary situations before and when someone showed up to rescue me I was grateful they were around, I certainly wasn’t asking them to leave but rather holding on with all my might. I’m sure the people from the city were “happy” for the two men who were delivered from the demons… but doggone it, did Christ have to take their pigs?
The pig farmers sold Christ out. They went into town and rather than sharing the good news of salvation they complained to the city that Christ has killed their pigs. Unfortunately it’s still present in the church today. We want people saved, but not at the expense of our comfort. The fact of the matter is new converts can bring new issues and costs but I fully believe that had the pig farmers rejoiced in the salvation of the two men, Christ would have replaced the pigs the devil destroyed, probably with something greater!
Don’t let Satan rob you of a blessing by taking your focus off the ministry and on to the mayhem that can come with new ministries in a church. Our purpose is not in the pigs… its in the people and seeing souls saved!