It was written, “And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region,” (Matthew 8:28-34).
When going over this scripture with my children, some important points were addressed that I think would benefit everyone reading this post today. First, the demon possessed men lived in a cemetery and were gentiles. By Jewish standards, these men were as unclean as you can get. Most people would not dare be caught anywhere near them because of the social stigmas that would come from it. However, this did not deter Jesus from going to them. Like Jesus, we should never be afraid to go where most people will not go to minister to others. We are called to make disciples of all people and all nations. From the scripture I have studied, there is no exception for the poor or lame.
My second point I would like to discuss is the fact that demons (fallen angels) knew who Jesus was. I find it assuring that these demons were afraid of Jesus. They thought he came early to torment them before their time. In Revelations 20:10, it is written that the demons will be thrown into a lake of fire. We can hold on to this idea in comfort in knowing that one day in the end, good will prevail over all the evil in this world and when that time comes, all the evil will be punished accordingly.
My last and most important message I want to address is how after the town heard of what Jesus did for the two unclean men, they all came and asked Jesus to leave. I originally found this strange, however, many still do it to this day. Think about how many faithful servants of Jesus are out there on the streets ministering to others and feeding the poor. After some get what they needed, they simply ask them to go.
You see, we have to follow Jesus’ example and help those who others do not want to. If people reject Jesus Christ himself, what makes you think they will not reject you? Jesus could have gotten upset and told the towns people “Are you kidding me? These demons know who I am, but here I am standing before you and you cannot accept me.” However, he did not.
Jesus did not allow the bad outcomes of good deed affect his ministry and neither should we. There will be people out there that will hear your testimony. They will even see the good God has done in your life and simply not want any of it. They too will ask Jesus to leave their town (their hearts and mind) because they do not want him there.
Do not let these situations discourage you when they happen. Be at peace in knowing that you still did your part and hopefully you planted a good seed in their mind. It will be up to their own convictions whether that seed takes root or not. You did your job and fought the good fight, however, we can’t win them all.
I pray that this message gives peace of heart to those who serve others and occasionally get shot down. Don’t let it discourage you because in the end, you will be rewarded for being faithful to Jesus’ commands. Please have a blessed day!