Obviously, the pigs were owned by someone and the way in which Jesus had demonstrated His power over demons and freed the man from his disorder was unacceptable to the owner and the townsfolk of that area. We perhaps tend to think of those who had seen the effects of Jesus' ministry as spreading the news of it in a good way, but these people asked Jesus to leave and not return! The wild and naked madman had become a sane and sensible citizen and that was not good news for them: they felt that the destruction of their herd of swine was more important than the healing of the man who once caused such terror. Remember too that people then lived in terror of demons and that Jesus had shown His saving authority over even the greatest number of them! When Jesus was present, they no longer needed all their amulets and spells to attempt to ward off malevolent spirits and yet they told Him to leave! A frequent cry of the human mind is: ''Don't disturb me''. Many choose to be left quietly alone, rather than risk human interaction: 1. One of the central issues we are facing today is that those in the first world are not willing to give up anything in their increasingly affluent lifestyle to benefit those in the second and third worlds who are struggling. People say all the right things, but the rich get richer and the poor face the first effects of climate change. 2. So, people also cry out: ''Don't disturb my possessions''. These people mentioned in this passage were not concerned for the well-being of the pigs but for the loss of their possessions. Are you, am I, willing to become poorer for the sake of our faith? Is this what Jesus is calling you and I to? 3. People also demand: ''Don't disturb my religion.'' Some Christian believers want the comfort of Christianity without the challenge. It is much less disturbing for us to hear a sermon based on theological doctrine than it is to hear about human need and the abuses of life. There is much in the Bible which is unsavoury and us preachers tend to gloss over the more difficult passages such as Ezekiel 23 v 1-21 and there are many more which are similarly uncomfortable. When we are no longer prepared to see anything new in our faith then we are dead! We must keep looking and being prepared to move forward with Jesus.
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