Monday, January 7, 2013

Evangelism At Its Best!

28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”
32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.
33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region. Matthew 8:28-34 NKJV

I love this passage. Two scary men who were demon-possessed had dominated this area so much that people didn't come around that area. Did I mention that they were scary? Yep. Anyhow I love it because the demons knew Jesus. No one had to tell them who He was! I love the second question that they asked Jesus, "Have You come here to torment us before the time?" The demons knew... Jesus dealt with them with one recorded word, "Go."  He cast them into the pigs and the pigs ran into the sea and drowned. Great! Two delivered men, right? They were once scary and tormented and now they could live normal lives! But there was a witness. The pig tenders.

The peg caregivers fled or ran to the city and told everything that had happened INCLUDING what had happened to the demon-possessed men. What a witness! Now you know that everyone knew who these two scary guys were! It is like any other town or city, they knew these guys. The people probably even had common used nicknames that identified the two scary guys like the "keepers of the tomb" or something like that :) (use your imagination). Every town has some "weirdo of creeper" that people stay away from because they are scary!

Anyhow, so Jesus casted the demons out and they ran into the pigs making them go berserk and suicidal. Good news right? I would think that this would be impressive stuff! This Jesus can take the insane or demon possessed people and bring them to their right minds and "normal!" The WHOLE CITY came out to meet this Jesus! Talk about evangelism at its best! Wow if a whole city turns out for an event I would call that a success! But the next part is what amazes me...they begged Him to LEAVE? I thought, are they out of their minds? Jesus just healed the outcasts! He took the creepers (the stuff that people make movies out of) and healed them and He gets this great turn out and they ask him to leave? This broke my heart when I read it this morning. I have read this passage like a million times and today it broke my heart. Why?

Because we invite people to meet Jesus and they do not want Him. He can heal them and they reject Him. So much so that it "offends" them. Don't even mention His name in your workplace unless you use it in a swear word. I guarantee you that it would offend someone and a complaint could be filed against you.

I began to read the passage again. In this case the people begged Him to leave because He affected their economics. He drove the pig market down so to speak (giggle.) if this Jesus was to do something like this again it could devastate their lives financially. I think of this being so petty but, is it if we were to put it in context with today? How many people are offended at church (or even the ones who have never gone to church) because we pass an offering plate around? All God asks for is 10% gasp...there He goes dabbling in the economics. What if Jesus were to come to your city and heal all of the cancer patients? Truly heal the sick? Would everyone be happy? Wouldn't that be so cool that we wouldn't need hospitals, insurance companies or doctors or pharmacies? I am thinking that would be HUGE! However, I am betting that the people who profit from that line of work would not be happy at all because He would change their economics or their livelihood.

Would you take a moment and be truly honest with yourself and ask what area does Jesus offend in your life? Would you be willing to give up that offense so that Jesus could visit your life and heal whatever area you are broken in? Would you be willing to be effected economically? Would you be willing to be offended if He asked for you to give up something (whatever that is) in your life? Or will you ask Him to leave?

I am hoping that you don't reject Him :) Let Him impact your life! I promise you that He will rock your world but in the long run He will change your life for the good! Don't confine Jesus just to one area in your life. Give Him free reign!


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