I love when I read a story that I've heard many times and it strikes me in a new way. This week it was the story in Matthew 8:28-34 about Jesus driving out demons. So Jesus comes into this town in which he finds two madmen living in the cemetery. They had been kicked out of the town because they were so violent and had terrorized the townspeople. The evil spirits that were in the men recognized Jesus as the Son of God, knew he had the power to cast them out of the men, and begged to be allowed to live in the herd of nearby pigs instead. For whatever reason, Jesus allowed this and the crazed pigs stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. Now here's the part that got to me..."Scared to death, the swineherds bolted. They told everyone back in town what had happened to the madmen and the pigs. Those who heard about it were angry about the drowned pigs. A mob formed and demanded that Jesus get out and not come back". (The Message)
I'm thinking...what a minute...Jesus just changed the lives of these two men! The people no longer have to live in fear of being terrorized. They have just witnessed a miracle! Yet they were more concerned with the pigs. Maybe the pig-owners just saw their source of income run into the sea (it was about 2,000 pigs). Maybe they were worried how they would provide for their families. Maybe people were worried that their source of nourishment was gone. Or maybe the people were just scared because they didn't understand what had happened. Whatever the case, they missed what God was doing because they were concerned with less important things. It's so easy to do.
In our times of fear and uncertainty may we draw close to Jesus instead of pushing him away like these townspeople did. Ask Him to open your eyes to the ways He is at work in your life and in those around you.