What Is Wholeness Worth?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
When I was a young man, this story from the Gospel of Mark disturbed me. I was happy enough that Jesus delivered a man from demonic bondage, but I just couldn’t understand why he let the demons enter the herd of pigs. Moreover, it seemed terribly unfair to the owner of the herd that he lost 2,000 pigs. I fretted about why Jesus did such an odd and apparently unkind thing.
I don’t think we can know exactly what motivated Jesus to let the legion of demons enter the herd of pigs. Speculations about Jesus’ intentions cannot be verified in this case since Mark does not tell us why Jesus acted as he did. But one thing is sure: Jesus valued the wholeness of the demonized man more than 2,000 pigs. He was willing to sacrifice the herd so that a man might be set free from his bondage and live as a free man.
There is much about Jesus that we will not understand, at least not this side of the age to come. But we do know for certain that Jesus wants us to be whole and that this is worth more than we might think. After all, our Lord gave his own life so that we might be delivered from our bondage to sin and freed to live the abundant life. For us, Jesus sacrificed infinitely more than a herd of pigs.
What is wholeness worth? What is your wholeness worth? To Jesus, it’s worth everything.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you respond to the actions of Jesus in this story? How have you experienced freedom and wholeness through Jesus? Is there anything in your life from which you need to be set free today?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I still don’t understand exactly why you let those demons enter the herd of pigs. I’ve read all sorts of explanations, but I’m not convinced that anybody has you figured out. Of course, I don’t need to know why you did what you did. But I am curious, I must confess.
More importantly, though, I recognize how much you valued the wholeness of the demonized man. Your focus was not upon demons or pigs, but upon this man and his potential for a full, healthy life. Thank you for setting him free, for valuing him and his wholeness as much as you did.
Even more, Lord, I thank you for caring so much about my wholeness that you gave up your life for me. What an amazing gift! What amazing grace! Amen.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.