The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.  And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.  And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs.  And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.  As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.  And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
(Mark 5:1-20 ESV)
Yesterday though, I didn't do that. We just read this passage in Mark and I asked him...what does this passage make you think about?
"It wasn't very nice for those pigs."
And you know... he has a point.
I never understood this passage as a child. Why would Jesus send a bunch of demons into a group of pigs only to have them all drown?
That wasn't very good for the herdsmen either...losing all that income (what can i say, I come from a farming background).
I understood how nice Jesus was in helping this demon possessed man regain possession of his own body again. But the whole pig thing left me stymied.
So I pointed out a couple of things to my lad to help him think deeper.
1. Jewish people weren't allowed to eat the meat of pigs. So what were they doing raising 2000 swine?
2. Jesus showed mercy even on his worst enemy. Demons are from Satan and they begged him not to send them from the country, so he sent them into the pigs instead.
3. The demons HAD to obey Jesus. They had no other option.
4. in this passage we see Jesus showing mercy to two groups...the man and the demons. Perhaps this teaches us how we should be kind to the different people that we meet?
We had a good discussion.
My continued thoughts.
1. a man so possessed with demons that he could not be contained. Can you imagine it? Being so filled with rage that chains, ropes and what not cannot contain him. 2,000 of them!
2. Jesus showed mercy, told him to tell his friends what happened (reunited him with people).
3. The man OBEYED Jesus. Not like some where Jesus said..Go home, be quiet. (and who then immediately weren't quiet about what had happened). This man went and told EVERYONE what had happened in the whole Decapolis.
What about you?
What great thing has God done for you lately?