The Problem of Jesus
“And they began to implore Him to leave their region.” Mark 5:17
There is a bitter truth for us to confront. It’s the truth about ourselves. These verses give a glimpse into the human nature and the shocking response to the work of Jesus.
Jesus’ popularity had spread, those in the other boats had seen Him tame the violent clouds of the air and the raging of the sea. Now, He steps into Gerasenes and sees a storm of another kind, a man, a human wreck. But again, Jesus works wonders with His word. He rebukes the spirit and the wicked wind ceased and there was calm.
People came from near and far to see His display of power. Surely, this kind of ministry would cause loyalty and devotion in the hearts of the crowd. After all, who could resist the One who calmed the storm and vanquished dark legions? After great victories, shouldn’t He be received with open ears and an open heart?
The townspeople do call out to Him, but it’s to ask Him to leave. They want Him banished. So they edged Him to the shore and felt happier as the water widened between them and Him. Why? They had a problem with Jesus. The healing and miracles were fine, but what about their pigs. They were practical people with a sacred view of property. Jesus had made them uneasy, unsettled and uncomfortable. They were more concerned about their pigs than the well-being of others. They preferred pigs to people.
What makes a person drive Jesus away are not intellectual struggles or moral issues. Rather, it’s the secret of every human heart – the love of self. Our rejection of Him rises from our love of self, money, possessions and place. Our interests are in the things Jesus ignores. That is the nature of a selfish heart. No matter how great the work of Jesus, our villainous heart cries “Depart,” “Away with Him!” “Crucify!”
After years of cruel, wicked, selfish prayers of asking Him to leave, we awaken and revise our prayer asking, “Come Lord, forgive me, help me.” His answer is, “Behold I’m with you all the days.”
What’s your problem with Jesus?