Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 22), (2 Kings 23), (Ezekiel 12), (Luke 8)
Of all the miracles Jesus did the one that usually creates the most comment and questions is the occasion when he healed the madman among the tombs and sent his “demons” into a herd of pigs and they all drowned. The most important thing is to realize the purpose of Jesus in the way this healing happened. Often there is more than one purpose in the actions of Jesus; as with his Father, he saw the “end” from the beginning (Isaiah 46 v.10).
There is a significant situation behind this event. The man, when he was normal, had lived in the nearby town, he owned a home there (Luke 8 v.39), so the people would have known him when he was well. They could not help but see it was a miraculous healing, for they found him “sitting at the feet of Jesus and in his right mind”(v.35). In many other situations when someone was healed we read of many others then coming for healing – and that is very understandable. But this time, the people begged Jesus to go away! (v.37) Why? Because of the destruction of the pigs, obviously the owners lived in the town.
The Law of Moses forbad eating pork, Isaiah condemns the Jews over this (Ch 65 v4; 66 v.3,17), yet there were Jews here who had a large herd; it was a good way of making money, even if the Gentiles were their only customers, which is doubtful! We conclude therefore that, led by very angry pig owners, they begged Jesus to go away! It is obvious where their priorities lay! Are not the same priorities evident today: what counts most in our lives? How few are interested in spiritual ‘healing’ for their eternal well-being?
Jesus had not finished with the people of this place, he told the healed man to stay and witness to the people among whom he lived, testifying as to what had happened and that Jesus was “the Son of the Most High God”[v.28] as he had cried out. And he did; that must have caused some hard thinking – after begging Jesus to go away!!
But what sort of healing is the best healing? It is a healing that still happens today. Much more eternal than casting out the ‘demons’ of the mind is the healing of hearts – and a commitment to live God’s way! The witnessing of the healed man may well have borne fruit for Jesus did come back again to this area (see Mark 6 v.53-56)
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