Tuesday, March 29, 2011
MARCH 29 UNBELIEVABLE STORIES
WHEN we think of unbelievable stories of the bible, we think of Jonah in the belly of a whale for 3 days, we think of Joshua praying that the sun would stand in place and it did or Elijah praying that it would not rain for 3 years, but I think this story is equally unbelievable and stands just as strong (in the category of "unbelievable") as the previous stories mentioned. It is hard to believe how cold and indifferent the heart of a human being can be towards another human being. It is hard to believe how mankind would be more concerned about his livelihood than the welfare of another human being, but regardless of whether it is hard to believe, it is TRUE. The unfortunate incident here is that these men lost their herd of swine (what were Jews doing with a herd of swine anyway?), but yet a life has been restored, a man that was bound by demons has been set free, free to go home a be a son to his father again, free to go home and be a father to his sons, free to go home and live a normal life. Imagine, demon possessed, bound in chains and uncleaness and in a moment of time put in his right mind, wouldn't that cause anybody to rejoice....,but to these men all they see is how it has impacted them negatively. This reminds me of the story of the fortune telling slave girl in the book of Acts that is set free of a demon spirit by Paul and the crowd once again, does not rejoice but turns against Paul with rage and anger because the woman will no longer be able to earn them a living with her fortune telling. Are human beings really that wicked? Are we more concerned about our welfare and livelihood than other people's problems? And of course the answer to that is a decisive YES! The greatest testimony of the Christian is not that they were set free from some superficial sin, it is that they were set free of this wickedness in the human heart, the wickedness of self idolatry. That we genuinely begin to care for other human beings that are "outside" of our circle. We begin to care about people who are not related to us, can do nothing for us and we have nothing to gain by their getting back on their feet. These men in our text are the type that God would often refer to as "wicked", they are wicked men. History has revealed to us just how wicked men can be; wars, bigotry, greed, rape, murder and genocides are just part of our ugly history. This story is unbelievable, but then again, these men in our text are "the wicked" they are "unregenerate" and what is even more unbelievable is that when we "the redeemed" , we "the regenerated" begin to display the same disregard for people and their plight; than we have lost something intrinsically paramount, to what distincts us from the wicked.