Saturday, March 8, 2014

Choosing Light

"... they begged Him to depart from their region"
Matthew 8:34

This verse is one of those verses that, when taken out of context, is bizarre.  What on earth would be the circumstances of people begging Jesus leave them?  There were many who hated Jesus, but they were the ones with authority.  They would never have begged Him to leave; they would have threatened Him, or had Him escorted out of town.  No one with that authority would have begged Jesus, because that would have been acknowledging His power.

Earlier in the passage is another instance of Jesus being begged, but that time it was by demons.  Jesus had freed a man from demons, and those demons had acknowledged Jesus' authority and power by begging Him not to destroy them, but to cast them into a nearby herd of pigs.  The pigs then ran into the water and died.  Those who owned the pigs saw the whole thing, then ran into town and told everyone what Jesus had done.  The people responded by coming out to meet Jesus, and begging Him to leave their town.

Why did these people beg Jesus to leave?  Seems to me like having someone around who has the power to control demons is a good thing.  But perhaps the people in this town were overcome with fear.  Perhaps this town loved darkness.  Jesus said that those who love darkness hate the light.  I think these people, living in darkness, could not comprehend the Light of the World, and, like the demons, begged Jesus to leave them alone.

The response of the people of this city baffles me, and I take that as a good sign.  I would like to think that as someone who has the light of the Lord in me, I do not comprehend the darkness.  I recognize Him for the Light that He is, and I want more of Him.   

~ "Light is sown for the righteous,
    and gladness for the upright in heart" ~
Psalm 97:11

Answers to yesterday's quiz:
1.  Tarsus (Acts 21:39)
2.  Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5)
3.  Balaam (Numbers 22:30)
4.  Angel (John 5:4)
5.  Damascus (Matthew 11:21-23)
6.  Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:8)
7.  Sycamore (Luke 19:4)
8.  Fish (Matthew 17:27)
9.  James and John (Mark 3:17)
10. Dogs (2 Kings 9:10)

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