December 31st, 2017
This demon-possessed man had no doubt been both a nuisance and an embarrassment to the people in the region of Gerasenes. So when Jesus came and cast the demons out, you would think everyone would have rejoiced and thanked Jesus, right? Think again. Instead of gratitude, the townspeople were filled with fear and begged Jesus to leave.
Why would they ever treat Jesus this way? Well, unlike their own pagan gods, Jesus could not be controlled or appeased. They feared Jesus’ supernatural power - something they had never before witnessed. They were likely afraid of the way their own sins would be treated if they got too close to such holy power. The cause of their lack of appreciation for the miracle was displaced priorities. You see, they were more upset about losing a herd of pigs than they were glad about the deliverance of a demon-possessed man.
As foolish as this may seem, we, too, can sometimes find ourselves overlooking God’s goodness when it costs us something. When we lose something in order for someone else to be blessed, can we find it in ourselves to put aside our selfish pride and give God glory? Or will we be more concerned about possessions than people? There will be situations in our lives that will give us the chance to analyze where we truly place our priorities. They will reveal an opportunity to either value the miracle or emphasize the loss - to push Jesus away or invite Him nearer. In those moments, what it really comes down to is this:
Would you rather have Jesus leave you than finish His work?
Pray: “Whether You give or take away, I will always give You praise, Lord. And if there is ever a time that I am asked to give something up to better Your Kingdom or bless someone else, help me to surrender myself to Your will.”