September 7, 2020
The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region (Matthew 8:33-34).
Mother use to tell me one of the greatest sins a Christian can commit is the sin of ingratitude. Paul wrote, Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:6-7), Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful (Colossians 3:15), and, For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude (1 Timothy 4:4).
Jesus healed the demoniacs of Gerasa, thereby relieving the residents of a menace that tormented them day and night for who knows how long. He drove the demons into a nearby herd of pigs. Isn’t it interesting - when the demons entered the pigs, they ran off a cliff and drowned in the sea. What a wonder. Men will allow demons to control and ruin their lives when livestock won’t!
Were the townspeople grateful? No. They ‘implored’ (to strongly plead; beg) Jesus to leave. They lost a cash crop when the pigs died, but if they were Jews (and some believe they were) they shouldn’t have been raising pigs since Mosaic Law classified pigs as unclean and anyone touching unclean animals were also unclean. Rescuing men from demonic possession proved Jesus had power greater than Satan. However, most people at that time believed anyone with such power was a servant of Satan, even the Pharisees! (Matthew 12:22-24).
The townspeople showed no respect toward Jesus (even the demoniacs bowed down to Him; Mark 5:1-6). They showed no interest in who or why He was there. They wanted nothing to do with Him other than to leave. They were more interested in the loss of their pigs than in the salvation of the demoniacs and in knowing the One who delivered them from demons.
I find that same attitude in many people today. People are more interested in life and living than in the One who has given them life and the ability to make a living. It’s the height of ingratitude. The most burdensome job, the most egregious sins, the most disgusting and corrupt activities are often more acceptable than Jesus Christ and the blessings He gives to us freely.
“Lord, we are such an egotistic and self-centered people, seldom recognizing You for the gifts You bring into our daily lives. Remind us of Your blessings and cultivate in us a heart of gratitude each and every day. Forgive us for not being as thankful to You as we should be. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”