In the text of this chapter verse 17 keeps playing back in my mind, “the people began to plead with Jesus to leave the region”. After witnessing Jesus’s miraculous powers as he cured one man who had been a nuisance and maybe even a threat to the community, why did they beg him to leave the region? Could it be that most of the people in the region of the Gerasenes were very comfortable and secure…that they were not worried about where they would sleep, where their next meal was coming from or their family’s safety? Could it be that the security for some of them or maybe many of them came from things like that heard of 2,000 pigs that had been destroyed? Could it be that while curing a plagued man who they had learned how to somewhat manage was amazing, it came at a perceived heavy price (the loss of 2,000 perfectly healthy pigs equaling maybe 40,000 meals – and maybe an infinite number of meals if you factored in the pigs natural reproduction)? Could it be that it is really hard for very comfortable people to value Jesus or to have the same values as Jesus? Could it be that it is very hard for me to value Jesus or have the same values as Jesus?
As the chapter continues desperate people like the bleeding women or Jairus who had a daughter who was dying flocked to Jesus because they had no other options and he was their only hope. Could it be that is why in other places in the bible it says things like “consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds”? Could it be that trials and challenges create the desperation in me that is necessary for me to come to Jesus…to need Jesus…to seek out Jesus…to value Jesus…to adopt the same values as Jesus? Wow, this chapter made me think.