Imagine Jesus performing a miracle in your hometown and the business leaders asking him to leave because Christ was bad for business. Could there ever be a situation where man would choose profit over the Prophet? It happens all the time. In fact, it happened to Jesus:
“And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.” (Mark 5:16-17)
Do you remember this story? Jesus healed a demon-possessed man, but before Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man, they begged Him to send them into a herd of swine. The swine, being possessed, ran down a cliff into the sea and drown. The caretakers of the swine told the townsfolk and Jesus was asked to leave.
Unbelievable! More unbelievable is Jesus obliged them. I wonder what the newly healed man thought. Would he not be shocked and argue with the townsfolk to allow Jesus to stay? Mark’s Gospel tells us the man begged Jesus to allow him to go with the Lord. However, Jesus had a bigger mission for him:
“However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’” (Mark 5:19)
Greed can make man do the unthinkable. A person becomes so obsessed by it that he or she begins desiring more than is needed or deserved. It kept Felix from freeing Paul who had been unfairly accused by the Jews:
“Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him.” (Acts 24:26a)
Peter warned against greed by referring to the Bible of his time, the Old Testament:
“They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” (2 Peter 2:15)
How could the townsfolk have asked Jesus to leave because of two thousand swine? Is greed enough to make a people overlook the joy of a man being saved and healed by Christ that they would run off the Savior? Most times yes, but mixed in with ingratitude, rejecting Christ is the natural step:
“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
Rejecting Jesus happens when we reject truth. Truth shows us our need for a Savior. Truth shows us that ruling our own lives actually brings ruin to our lives. However, if we reject that truth, we will reject Christ. Jesus was rejected by His own nation:
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11)
You may think you have the right to reject Christ because you have free will. In a way, that is true. However, your rejection of Christ brings judgment upon you. Your own actions, which you make consider enlightened, actually brings eternal damnation:
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)
Have you rejected Christ for some other religion or your own humanist belief? Friend, that is a decision of eternal consequences. The writer of Hebrews warned against such actions and gave a historical example of those consequences:
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven. (Hebrews 12:25)
Who are the “they” to whom the writer refers? They are those who were alive when Jesus walked among them. They are the Gadarenes, the townsfolk, of Mark 5, who chose swine over the Savior. They are those who chose Barabbas over Jesus.
What about you? What choice have you made when it comes to Jesus? Is the value of a herd of swine more appealing to you than the salvation of Jesus Christ?
Dear friend, understand this: telling Jesus to go is serious business.
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers