Pig Herders Squeal On Jesus
Some mornings during my devotional time, a visual image, or certain words seems to become trapped in my mind. This morning in Matthew 8, I found myself wondering through the "other side in the region of the Gaderenes", among the tombs with two wild men, apparently surrounded by a large herd of pigs. Can you smell that? This is quite unlike where I live, the Village of Clemmons, an upscale bedroom community just outside of Winston-Salem. Jesus hung with different folk than I tend to these days, which causes me to wonder if the comfort cultivated by my calling is now being called to task. Maybe a new and more odiferous day awaits me? Jesus had just spoken to the winds and the waves, and now steps out of the boat and sets two demon possessed cavemen free at the expense of the unsuspecting pigs. My life now seldom creates such chaos nor demonstrates such power. I've become a typical American Christian, unlike the One whom we know has challenged us to do "even greater things than these" in His Name (authority). I think the combination of power, the activity of the pigs, and yes the wow factor of these two wild men set free, must have so gripped the pig herders that even the nearby uptown folk gave them ear. They all then rushed out to meet the man, Jesus. Apparently the presence around him was still palpable, as they began pleading with him to leave the region. "Greater things than these?" I am always challenged by such stories and wonder what might happen if those of us empowered by the Spirit spent more time outside our comfort zones.