Doug Gamble

devozine Pig FTR TSP 121158016In Mark’s wild story of the demon-possessed man, Jesus confuses, angers, or disappoints everybody around him. First, a stark-naked stranger runs up and starts yelling at him. Next, the demons who possess the man ask permission to be sent into some nearby pigs.  Jesus agrees, and two thousand pigs rush down the hill into the lake and drown—one massive pig suicide. The people of the village don’t seem to care that the man has been healed. Instead, frightened and angry, probably because drowned pigs mean sinking profits, they ask Jesus to leave. Then, when the healed man begs to go with him, Jesus says no and instructs him instead to go home and to tell his friends how much the Lord has done for him.


Read about the demon-possessed man and the pigs in Mark 5:1–20.

Let’s review: Jesus agrees to the demons’ request, damages the local economy, and doesn’t allow a ready and willing person to follow him. Really, Jesus?


It turns out that Jesus has things already figured out. At the end of the story, the townspeople have stopped worrying about their pigs and profits and have started listening in amazement to the healed man who was proclaiming how much Jesus had done for him.

Sometimes Jesus confuses us. But hang on. (That’s faith!) He’s up to something good.


PRAYER: Jesus, when you do something we don’t understand, help us to hang on, having faith that you are working for good behind the scenes. Amen.

Doug Gamble is from San Jose, Costa Rica.

—from devozine (January/February 2013). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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