Monday, June 29, 2009

Ready or Not?

This morning I read Jesus' words to His disciples on the mountain top--often termed the "Sermon on the Mount." You can find these teachings in Matthew 5-7. Surrounding his teachings are the examples of many people Jesus healed in His earthly ministry--healed individually and in accordance to their faithful asking.

Then in chapter 8 vv. 28-34 Jesus and His disciples cross the sea to the country of the Gergesenes--Gentiles rather than Jews. He gets out of the boat and meets up with two "exceedingly fierce" demon-possessed men. The demons knew who Jesus was and begged Him for mercy. So He complied with their request and cast them out into a nearby herd of swine that then "ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water."

What happened next struck me as so interesting. Those who kept the pigs ran to the city and told all that had occurred. Then the entire city came to meet Jesus. "And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region." Why?

Jesus was coming with healing and power--even the demons were in subjection. The comfortable norm would be shaken and stirred to the point that some just assume keep their distance. Don't we see this today? People can get comfortable in their ignorance to the point that stepping outside of those known boundaries of supposed "control" strikes fear and retreat. What are we to do?

Jesus taught the disciples that their are God-haters in this world whom we should be aware and from whom we are to separate ourselves. (Matthew 7:6) We cannot nag someone into the kingdom. When this entire city begged Jesus to depart, do you know what He did? "So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city." (Matthew 9:1)

As we seek after God Himself, we will become increasingly sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Move where He moves. He alone is God. He alone draws to repentance.

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