They landed in the country of the Gadarenes and were met by two madmen, victims of demons, coming out of the cemetery. The men had terrorized the region for so long that no one considered it safe to walk down that stretch of road anymore. 29 Seeing Jesus, the madmen screamed out, “What business do you have giving us a hard time? You’re the Son of God! You weren’t supposed to show up here yet!” 30 Off in the distance a herd of pigs was browsing and rooting. 31 The evil spirits begged Jesus, “If you kick us out of these men, let us live in the pigs.” 32 Jesus said, “Go ahead, but get out of here!” Crazed, the pigs stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. 33 Scared to death, the swineherds bolted. They told everyone back in town what had happened to the madmen and the pigs. 34 Those who heard about it were angry about the drowned pigs. A mob formed and demanded that Jesus get out and not come back.
This was a struggle. All the sermons and discussions on this passage blocked my ability to just read it and receive. With prayer, this is what emerged. This was a dangerous stretch of road. So dangerous no one could use it. Yet here is Jesus and his disciples using it. Again Jesus displays no fear. The fear is noted in the demons. With the loss of the pigs, there is fear in the men herding the pigs. The town shows fear of Jesus and asks him to leave. The fear here turns to anger.
No one brought the sick or lame to receive healing. No one saw the healing…No one said thank you for delivering the two men, giving back safe passage on the road. They only saw the immediate loss of income; how that would affect their life. Tunnel-vision, no desire for improvement, no change, stay in the present ‘comfort zone’ even if it hurts or is harmful… Is this still the case today? Do we continue to have tunnel vision? Do we not see change because of our own unwillingness to leave a ‘comfort zone’ just because it is familiar? Even if it is harmful or hurtful? Do we choose the pigs over the men?