The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

In the country of the Gergesenes
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In the country of the Gergesenes

In Matthew 8:28-34 we are reading about the short visit of the Lord to the country of the Gergesenes:

Matthew 8:28-34
“When He had come to the other side [i.e. opposite to Capernaum, where he was in Matthew 8:5-27], to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, "If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go." So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept themfled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.

Jesus came to the country of the Gergesenes. He loved those Gergesenes as He loves any man on this earth. So he came, even uninvited. He left Capernaum and he came to their country. He started His visit by delivering two demon possessed people. While somebody would say that this was a great start, here is the reaction of those Gergesenes: “when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region”! The Son of God came to be with them. And yet the whole city came out, before He could even get in, begging Him to leave! The reason? I believe it was because of the loss of the swine. They were afraid of this “loss” being repeated. The Gergesenes between the Son of God and their unclean “swine” choose the swine. The Son of God left.

Are there things today for which you say “please Lord keep yourself away from this. This is my business”, because you are afraid of what He may do? Is there “swine” that you prefer to have it hidden than allow the Lord to visit? Do not be as the Gergesenes. Paul in Philippians 3:4-6 gives his short CV concerning his pre-Christian achievements:

Philippians 3:4-6
“If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”

Paul was according to the righteousness that is of the law, blameless! Not many men could say this. But he could! And yet…. here is his conclusion about all these “achievements”

Philippians 3:7-14
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul suffered the loss of all things. From a great man in his society and religious cycle, he found himself moving from town to town and preaching the gospel under great persecutions from his own people. His life was many times at stake. And yet he counted all his past achievements as rubbish in comparison to the knowledge of the Lord, looking not backwards but forwards, to those things that are ahead, pressing towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Are there things, areas of our life today that we would prefer to keep the Lord outside? If yes, let’s do the opposite from what the flesh says. Let’s not carry on hiding from Him but let’s make these things open to Him. Let’s be fully transparent to Him, instead of keeping Him away as the Gergesenes did. Let’s put Him in control, expressing to Him our desires but allowing Him also to do as He desires. HE IS THE LORD!

Anastasios Kioulachoglou