When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 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. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:34-39
Imagine you are out tending your herd of pigs when all of a sudden they go nuts. They are stomping and snorting eyes aglow and then they suddenly run head long into the sea. No wonder they were afraid. Of course they also had just witnessed a man who had been long possessed by demons. So much so he could no longer be chained. Then along comes this Jesus fellow who commands the demons to release the man. That is a lot for people to take in.
You might wonder why these people were keeping pigs in the first place. Aren’t they unclean? They are unclean and if these people had been Jewish you would have a point. However the Gerasenes were Gentiles and the country of the Gerasenes was on the east bank of the Sea of Galilee. The area is in what is now the country of Jordan. Raising and selling pigs was their business. One hopes they had no Jewish customers.
Rather than look at the good that was done, freeing this man from a legion of demons they instead concentrated on the loss of the pigs. Unfortunately that is how too many people view Jesus. They concentrate on what they perceive as being lost rather than what is gained by following Him. When we fixate on what we have to give up rather than the enormous gain from accepting Jesus we are being penny wise but pound foolish. We give up sinful pleasures that are at best temporary in order to obtain eternal life with Jesus. And the truth is those temporary pleasures come at a huge price of guilt, shame and many times physical costs. We gain the free gift of eternal life.
Have a blessed day,