Can I Have My Pigs Back? (2/20/13)

Read: Leviticus 9:7-10:20, Mark 4:26-5:20, Psalm 37:30-40, Proverbs 10:6-7

But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” (Mark 5:19)

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Relate: Either someone in the community was awfully rich or this herd of pigs that just drowned was a community affair. In today’s market, a herd of  two thousand pigs is going to run between $300,000-$400,000. Can you imagine a four hundred thousand dollar investment and watching it run right off a cliff? If I owned my house and watched it, with everything inside it, including the car in the garage, go up in flames. And if I knew that I didn’t have any insurance on any of it… I’d probably get about a fourth or a fifth of the way to what that must be like.

So crazy Joe comes into town. He’s dressed and… not so crazy anymore. He comes right to the town square, and everybody gathers around to watch what’s about to happen. Everybody loves a freak show and crazy Joe’s been local entertainment for years. Just so long as you don’t get close. Him coming right into town… well, everybody loves a train wreck too. Crazy Joe says, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news.” After he tells his story I’m going to be thinking, “That’s great for you but perhaps you could go back to being crazy and I could get my pigs back?”

Relate: This demon possessed man was the first person who was told to go and tell rather than come and follow. He was the very first missionary. His past disqualifies him. His knowledge of who Jesus is and what He teaches is also very limited. “Who is he? I don’t know, some guy who heals people and kills pigs. There’s a bunch of other guys who follow him around but apparently I can’t be one of them.”

My past disqualifies me from being a missionary. I’m a failure. I’ve let Him and nearly everyone I know down time and time again. There are plenty of other people without the scarred history and the skeletal closets that I have to deal with who would be far better candidates to serve God. My education disqualifies me. I’m not smart enough, sharp enough, a good enough speaker. I get tongue tied when I have to think on my feet. I just don’t know enough. Hogwash. Literally. Two thousand pigs running into a lake hogwash. If Jesus can chose a formerly insane man with almost no knowledge of who He is, and send the guy into a hostile environment as the very first missionary, He can use anyone. He can use me. He can use you.

Respond: 

God, so often I look at myself and see an underqualified failure. I know You want to use me but the two questions that always pop up are why and how. I don’t know why You would chose me to reach my friends, my family, and my world but You did. Help me to be equal to the task. I don’t know how the little I can say will have any effect. Speak through me. If You can use anyone… use me.

 

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7 comments

  1. God calls the week and base things. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 1 Cor; 1:28

  2. Thanks! This is truly the story of my life…once wounded and crazy, now healed and serving. Isn’t it a miracle? PS: No pigs or other animals were injured in my story. :-)

  3. Ian Gudger

    Great post! Really really enjoyed it. :) Thanks for all you are doing to support people who are seeking Christ.

  4. Wow. Just wow! I feel so unqualified because of my past and my choices… Thank you for reminding me that He redeems!! :)

  5. Hmm, great insight…That man’s testimony was all he had

  6. VictoriaJoDean

    Wow. So clear and powerful. I’ve always wondered about those pigs and yet in most studies of this passage they seem to remain the footnote. They must be more than that because the now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t affected everyone and drew their eyes to a man changed. May God do so in my life.

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