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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Pastor Cecil Thompson
Cecil Thompson

Matthew 8:33-34

"Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region."

The passage above deserves further explanation. Jesus and His disciples had just crossed the Sea of Galilee and came to the region of the Gadarenes where two tomb dwelling demon-possessed men, rushed out to meet Him. The demons cried out in recognition of Jesus’ Divinity and begged Him not to punish them before the time of the end. They asked to be allowed to go into a herd of swine. He, Jesus, allowed the demons to possess the beasts. The result was that 100 pigs rushed into the water and were drowned. Isn't it interesting that two men—even though they were driven mad—were able to tolerate the demons, but the pigs perished.

Picture the scene that must have occurred. These two men had been released from the power of the demons and were now set free. They must have been rejoicing with Jesus and His disciples about how free they felt. They now had new life and a new hope. Jesus could do what no other power on earth could do!

They had been rejected by the community because of the demon possession. Now they were free and had the desire to rush and tell their friends and family their good news, but first they just had to spend time talking with Jesus. (This is all just conjecture on my part). While they were speaking with Him, the villagers came out to meet them. The swine herders had rushed into town to tell the devastating news about the loss of the swine.

How sad! Instead of rejoicing with the demoniacs who had been set free, they were angry about the loss of the pigs. Rejection is one of the hardest things in life to deal with. In one way or another, it is an uninvited guest that seems to appear at the door of our life. Rejection hurts to the quick. It often is not the result of our actions, but upon the selfish actions of others. You may be feeling rejection in your life at this very moment.

The old expression, "Misery loves company," does not really apply to rejection. It is some comfort to recognize that rejection is common to all of us. If our precious Lord Jesus was rejected, then we can be sure that we will also encounter times of rejection.

The townspeople had two choices. They could rejoice over the two demoniacs who had been set free, or they could get ticked off about the pigs that were now floating dead on the water. THEY CHOSE TO GET TICKED OFF! That does not make sense, but then rejection never does. They asked Jesus to leave their region. This was the Messiah who could heal and deliver and restore—but they had lost their pigs and that was what mattered most to them.

How did Jesus react to His rejection? He simply stepped into a boat and crossed back over the lake to His own town. He went on with His ministry of teaching, touching and healing. Many were healed and set free from the bondage of sin, but on the other side of the lake, those who had rejected Him, were unchanged, lost for all eternity! Every time they saw the two men that had been made whole it was a reminder of their rejection of Jesus.

As we focus on the Word of God, we are to obey what God says—go on about the work the Lord has placed in our hands for us to do—and leave those who have rejected us to deal with their actions. Will it hurt us? Yes! Will we survive? Yes! But as we look at the life of Jesus and see what He did when rejected, let us use His life as our example. Let us step into our "boat" and be the blessing to others who are on the other side of "our lake" willing to receive our ministry.

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

- - - Pastor Cecil


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