Daily Office Readings for Wednesday after the 7th Sunday of Easter
“Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.” (Matthew 8:34)
There are a few observations to take note of in this story. Matthew has two demoniacs approach Jesus. Mark 4 and Luke 8 have only one demon possessed man approach Jesus in their similar episodes. In all the versions the demons leave the man and enter pigs. I don’t know whether it is a blessing or a curse but I ask different questions than the commentators I have read. Jesus does not move the evil spirits to the pigs, but rather he allows them to move themselves. All versions have the pigs and demons drown to death. My question however, cannot the evil spirits simple move into the fish; the fish that are then caught by those who fish in waters of Galilee? This evil cycle of possession would just continue. Am I reading too much into it? I do ponder.
What I want to glean from this story is the fact that this was Gentile territory and raising pigs was their livelihood. Jesus destroyed an income source or at least allowed it to happen. The people begged him to leave either because he had a scary amount of power, or that he caused poverty for a family, or for both. My sources did say that there is a cost for following Jesus. And I would add, it can often be scary too.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John