Lk.8:35-37 – Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.
People never cease to amaze me. The region of Gadara had obviously run out of options dealing with the man we know as the Gadarene demoniac. After trying all that they could to deal with this man they bound him hand and foot and left him in the cemetery outside of town to die. Apparently that didn’t go well because he would break the fetters and chains and go about wailing throughout their region. That all ended abruptly the day Jesus landed on their shore. He cast out the spirits with a word and the tormented man was dressed properly and seated at the feet of Jesus. Only one small problem, the demons that were in this man entered the townspeople’s herd of pigs which abruptly drowned themselves in the lake. Check out what the early reformer Konrad Pellikan had to say about this.
“They were eager for Jesus to leave their region, because they were afraid of his power but did not understand his goodness. They were more greatly shaken by the loss of the pigs than by the man restored to health. Nevertheless they did not dare to throw him out but made a public request that he would withdraw to their borders, they were all so seized by fear. And so Jesus, rather than throwing pearls before swine or giving dogs what is holy, returned to the ship.”
So this is the shocking part, the town folks were unfazed by the miracle that this tormented man experienced, all they cared about was their pigs and their money. This is a terrifying thought, the Lord could be moving in poor, tormented people all around us and we don’t even notice. Recognizing the work of God in hurting people is huge, without that we have missed the whole point of life. Christ came to restore broken lives, embracing that is what our Christian faith is all about.