the whole town went out to meet Jesus;
and as soon as they saw Him,
they begged Him to depart from their locality.
Matthew 8:34 AMP**
The miracle had very recently been performed, the two who were so fierce and savage were set free at last! They could live life in a peaceful, fulfilled manner thanks to the power of Jesus. No longer would they be tormented by the demons of darkness. No longer did the townspeople have need to fear the deeds of these two savages, for they had been delivered. Indeed it was a miracle by the very hand of our Lord.
The herdsmen, located some distance from Jesus, fled at the sight. Their swine had made a bee-line for the cliff and had fallen to their deaths in the turmoil of the sea below as they became a sort of sacrifice for the savages’ deliverance. This move of Jesus was possibly chalked up as a large loss of funds to the herdsmen or perhaps it was simply an intimidating sight. Regardless, the villagers didn’t have a warm and fuzzy for this news the herdsmen nervously spread forth.
Ultimately, Jesus, the very One who brought deliverance and a drastic change to the two men’s lives, was asked to leave. Wow…think on that: Jesus performed a miracle beyond what was possible for man, yet He was asked to exit stage-right, depart, go away.
This leaves me sad because I wonder what the people missed when Jesus was no longer in the picture. What could “money” or comfort possible offer that comes remotely close to what Jesus offers?
It makes me sad because there appears to be little or no thought to the healing the two men received. They were mean boogers, folks were scared to be around them. However, Jesus wanted to be around them, and because they were in His company, deliverance occurred. It was a miracle!
Woo hoo! That’s the glory in this story. Even the meanest, strangest, most violent of us can be transformed by the delivering power of Jesus Christ. It’s when we are close to Jesus, in His presence, that our lives are changed…forever. It is when others are close to Jesus and are in His presence that their lives are changed as well.
The new year will be upon us soon. It’s a great time to draw close to the very real presence of our Lord. It’s a great time to draw close for healing and deliverance, and it’s a fantastic time to view situations with prayer and expectancy versus the fear of loss (of things, money, livelihood, etc.) or with intimidation because we’re not familiar with how things are being handled.
I fully expect this next year to be one of miracles, transformation, deliverance, and healing. It’ll fully be a year of Jesus. Let’s leave the, “Depart Jesus!” behind and run with fervency the race marked out in front of us. He is worthy of our time, our thoughts, and our belief. He is worthy!
Happy New Year my friends.