Afraid of being well


I scored twelve rolls of toilet paper yesterday morning. I was so happy. I had to go to two stores before 8am on a Sunday to find it, but I did. It’s a good thing because I refused to stockpile toilet paper and we were down to our last roll. I still believe this was an artificially-created self-inflicted shortage based on fear that we would run out, and, sure enough, we did. Like the herd instinct that set in when Jesus sent a large number of swine running off a cliff and drowning in the Sea of Galilee, people were just following those in from of them. And by the time thousands of people had run off with two and three shopping carts full of toilet paper, guess what? We had a shortage.

That incident with the pigs took place when Jesus, entering an area for the first time, was immediately confronted by a naked madman who lived among the nearby tombs. Jesus found that the man was possessed by a legion of demons who begged Him to send them into the pigs that were grazing on a nearby hillside instead of into the abyss where they knew they were eventually going to end up. So He did, and as soon as He did, the pigs rushed into the sea and drowned. When news of what had happened hit the town, they all came out to see, and what they found was the crazy man from the tombs sitting next to Jesus, dressed, and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

Now you would think that in viewing this miracle of healing that they would have recognized a man of God and brought out their sick and demon-possessed for Jesus to heal, but instead they were afraid — so afraid that they asked Jesus to leave town.

It was as if they were saying, Look, Jesus, whoever you are, we like our pigs grazing over there on the hillside and our madman over here shrieking in the tombs, so please, just leave us alone. And He did.

Things happen when Jesus comes to town. Jesus makes a difference and even the things that change for the better we may not like because we like the way things are. We have made peace with our excuses our sins and our dysfunctions and Jesus comes along and alters all that. We’re afraid of being well. Being well is going to cost us something. We prefer being sick (or helpless, or dysfunctional, or small or ineffective). We prefer to have something to complain about. We prefer the status quo. Jesus changes everything.

The man Jesus healed is dressed and in his right mind. What’s he going to do now? Well, the first thing he’s going to do is what Jesus told him to do. Go home and tell everyone what happened to him. Just the very thing God wants us to do. Go and tell everyone what happened to us. Tell everyone about the Gospel of Welcome — grace turned outward. That’s where it all begins.


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This entry was posted in discipleship, gospel of welcome, grace turned outward, pandemic and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Afraid of being well

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    I think the expression, “better the Devil you know..” might have originated with this story. They had grown comfortable with the crazy man in the tomb. It was a change that was scary.

    This situation we are all in has changed a lot. Maybe the devil we knew is gone, replaced by different challenges. Let’s all pray we can rise to the occasion. We might see what it is Jesus wants to change in us through all of this

  2. If Jesus was not welcomed to stay in the village, I imagine that the healed man would be to the village people like burr in the saddle. I wonder what he ended up doing or where he ended up living. People who can’t stop talking about something great they have discovered is quite irritating to others!

  3. Sandie says:

    Human nature would rather stay in a comfortable (to them) rut than venture into the promise of a better unknown. Like the men who cowered in the boat rather than step out like Peter. God has a tendency to rock those boats and eventually tip them over. Also, stepping into the promise means spiritual responsibility on a higher level.

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      Sandie wasn’t sure you noticed a message to you & your husband: (plz consider letting me know, OK?)

      May I please suggest a great book for your husband to consider reading:

      It works! Plus to greatly help lower America’s number #1 killer – heart disease!

      • Sandie says:

        Hey Mark – Sorry I didn’t acknowledge your help earlier. While my husband is a Type 2 diabetic, his condition is being controlled by mild medication, Also, since we have had our GSD pup the exercise we are getting training/walking/playing with Jeremiah has helped us both physically. Both of us losing weight, my blood pressure down and his sugar levels decreasing so much so that it is possible his meds will be decreased, maybe discontinued. But thank you again. Blessings.
        Jeremiah 29:11

  4. Mark D Seguin says:

    Boy oh boy Pastor John do I agree w/ your statement: “We prefer to have something to complain about. We prefer the status quo…”

    B/C how often do you hear people complain about not having enough time & money?

    Often I believe, yet when offered a way to make a residue, passive transferable to two generations income (As God request a Godly person do – in Proverbs 13:22) And b/c everyone uses the consumable type of products offered online i.e. shampoo, tooth paste, toilet paper, hand soap, laundry & dish washer detergent products and great tasting Energy Drinks to name a few out of the over one million products available and come with a 100% 180 days satisfaction guarantee! And get them delivered to your doorstep… plus paid to shop there!

    Also, using the principle that a lot already know how to do – In that how many times have you told someone a friend, relative or neighbor about a good movie, or place to eat? And as that restaurant or theater ever called you back and said thanks for sending these people & offered to pay you in cash every month?

    Well Amway has been doing jus that for over 60 years and are in 82 countries, yet will often people find reason(s) to say no way will I do that Biz, LOL It’s not for me… B/C I think a lot of people as you stated: “We prefer to have something to complain about. We prefer the status quo…”

  5. Markus says:

    Aren’t pigs unclean animals by Jewish standards? And yet they were herding them? Was this even allowed under Jewish law? If so then these particular Jews’ reaction would fit in with the pig herding. I mean, these people believed that they still lived under God’s law and yet they ignored it. To ignore Jesus and his miracle would fit to this.

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      Good observation, yet please consider not everyone was Jewish…

    • Sandra Kunze says:

      Markus, according to my references, this area was primarily a Gentile population as near as I could figure. That could account for their discomfort over the man’s healing and their fear of Jesus. Another thought – being pagans, this demon-possessed man could have been considered a manifestation of their god/religion/worship; maybe even a sort of good luck talisman. Think of their anger over his loss. Booting him and Jesus out of town becomes an understandable reaction. PS. THX for making me do some research! Blessings!

  6. peter leenheer says:

    The healed man wound up preaching the gospel in the area known for 10 cities in close vicinity(Decapolis). It is my thought that the man was healed for more than just his own pleasure. What greater witness than to say, ‘ I had multiple demons in me, Jesus threw them into a bunch of pigs and here I am footloose and fancy free. Jesus saved me, join me in being his disciple.’ The people who knew him could verify that witness.

    At first people were afraid of being well, as John stated but later they opened up to the gospel of grace turned outward.

    What makes me laugh about all the hoarding of toilet paper is that this virus does not even have diarrhea as a symptom. Some of us are stocked up till 2050!!!

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