Lessons Of A Lifetime

Rejected By A Whole Region
Or
Returning Home Healed
Sunday March 15, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“When those who fed them [the suicidal swine] saw what had happened [the whole herd of swine drowned in the sea], they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they [those who were told of the drowning of the swine] went out to see what happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.”

“And they [those who had come to see what happened] were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And Jesus got into the boat and returned”

“Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Jesus that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.’ And he [the delivered of demons new creature in Christ] went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”                                                                                                                                  Luke 8.34-39

Something To Consider:
Word of the miraculous healing of the demon-possessed man reached throughout the whole region, along with the news of the financial loss of an entire herd of pigs. In response, the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes came out to see what had happened. They did not come out to see Jesus, only what He had done.

And upon first hand inspection, the whole multitude, unmoved by seeing the previously demon imprisoned man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, they were seized with great fear. This fear was not for physical reasons but rather for financial reasons. Their swine raising enterprises was now below sea level.

It is a tremendous shame that financial gain takes precedence over so many people, and that financial gain keeps so many from coming to Jesus. And what is worse, is that so many have been deceived into thinking that financial gain is a direct sign of godliness and favor from the Lord. Paul writing in 1 Timothy 6.3, declared; “…even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords [results] with godliness.”

Paul continued in verse 5 and 6, by emphatically stating, “Men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain [financial gain]. From such [individuals] withdraw yourself.” Paul ends his discourse on true gain by proclaiming in 1 Timothy 6.6; “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” The pig farmers of our lesson today were anything but content. How about us?

Something Else To Consider:
Therefore, an entire region in its refusal to benefit from the presence of Jesus rejected Him and His mission of mercy. Their rejection included their requesting Him to depart from them. We have witnessed the rejection of Jesus before. As leaders and leaders in training we will continue to witness the rejecting attitudes of individuals, entire families, whole cities, and nations.

And yet, Jesus did not rant and rave, nor did He demand to be heard or understood. Luke simply records these words for the entire world to contemplate, “And Jesus got into the boat and returned.” How many times has Jesus been openly rejected while extending His mercy to millions of individuals in every generation since the healing and deliverance of the demon-possessed man?

What about us? Do we ever reject Jesus by neglecting to observe all things that He has commanded? Have we ever rejected God’s will for our lives by desiring something or someone so intently that we become indebted to a credit card company or a financial institution simply because we were not willing to be content? And that is something else to consider!

Something More To Consider:
But before Jesus set sail, this changed new creature in Christ, this most fortunate recipient of the mercy of God made his request known to Jesus. In so many words the once demon possessed man asked Jesus to allow him to come along with Him and His disciples. But Jesus answered and said to him, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” This spiritual mission of mercy had left a most valuable witness for future generations.

The kingdom of heaven is never without true witnesses. And so, this once demon-possessed man returned home completely healed and proclaiming to the whole Christ rejecting region what great things Jesus had done for him. Simply telling others what great things God has done for us is what witnessing for Christ is all about!

Isaiah wrote of Jesus in Isaiah 53.3, by stating; “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Jesus Himself explained in Matthew 10.33; “Whoever denies [rejects] Me before men [women and young people], him [or her] I will also deny [reject] before My Father who is in heaven.”

Jesus was rejected and denied entrance into the lives of an entire region that day of deliverance for the demon-possessed man. And yet, the rejection of Jesus continues into this 21st century generation in every region of the globe. But, according to Jesus in John 12.48; “He [or she] who rejects Me, and does not receive My Words, has that which judges him [or her]; the Word that I have spoken will judge him [or her] in the last day.”

A Few Final Words:
The rejection of Jesus has eternal ramifications! Those of the region of the Gadarenes who rejected Jesus, His power to heal, His authority to overcome evil, His mission of mercy and ultimate spiritual redemption; are yet awaiting their eternal judgment and eternal punishment. There is no second chance or other side of death opportunity to right the wrong of rejecting Jesus.

Our decision while alive on planet earth stands as our eternal decision. And for most, there awaits an eternity of hell fire, torment, and the gnashing of teeth. But, for a faithful few, according to Jesus, there awaits an eternity of righteous rewards beyond human and earthly imagination.

Jesus promised in John 14.2; “In My Father’s house are many mansions [dwelling places]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Will we at the end of our lives be found by Jesus rejecting Him or returning home, to that eternal place prepared for us by Jesus?

What therefore, will be our eternal decision? Will we choose spiritual healing and deliverance or hell fire and eternal damnation? Leaders and leaders in training, like Jesus, should be willing to cross over the stormy seas of this life to accomplish the work of God. Some will be called to travel to far away lands and others will be called to remain behind as was the delivered demon-possessed man. Either way, in the end, will we be found by Jesus fulfilling the will of God?

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, thank You for the witness of Your love and mercy in our lives, and for the great things You have done for us. In Him Always, Amen!

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