“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Demons, Pigs and People

(Please read Mark 5:1-20)

January 9

As you read our text today, try to visualize the scene as about 2000 squealing pigs ran helter-skelter into the lake. Now notice the attitudes of the people about that hectic event.

The formerly demon-possessed man whom Jesus had just cured was a changed, happy man. But there were also the swineherds and other people living in the area, who apparently thought more of pigs than people. Instead of wanting Jesus to stay and heal more people, they made the terrible mistake of begging him to leave. Jesus told the healed man to go and tell his family what the Lord had done for him, and the man apparently began to tell his story all over the area.

The Lord still wants people whom he has healed to go and tell others. Is it a sign of weak faith when we fail to do this? And would we be reluctant to associate with the poor man who had been possessed by demons? We have read that preacher Charles Hodge sometimes held up an 18-inch ruler in the pulpit and said, “This is how far some Christians will miss heaven,” that being “about the distance between his head and his heart.* We know the physical heart is not the biblical heart, but it’s a good illustration.

When our heads tell us that we should take the gospel message to the unlovable, and we fail to do that, maybe it’s because the idea has not touched our hearts. If God gives us an opportunity today to do better in that respect, let’s put our hearts into it and get it done! 

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