This decade has witnessed an increased hatred in our world toward Jesus Christ. During most of our lifetime, opposition and animosity toward Jesus Christ has been low-key and among the minority. Today, more and more are becoming openly vocal toward the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Jesus told His disciples, when questioned about the end time, that they would be hated by all men for His name's sake (Matthew 24:9.)
This is a paradox; why would men hate the One Who healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, made the lame to walk and restored life to the dead. The Bible says He "went about doing good," (Acts 10:38) yet men hated Him (John 15:18, 22-25.) It seems that standing for good can be more abrasive than being bad. Three times Jesus scattered the money changers for defiling the Temple and He allowed the devils to destroy the animals of those who defiled Israel. The hog business was a banned business for the Jew. That was an "unclean" animal and was not to be eaten.
One such event is found in Matthew 8:28-34, another is found in Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-40. (The difference is obvious. In Matthew there are two men; in Mark and Luke there is only one man. In Matthew, no name is used, in Mark and Luke, the name is Legion; in Matthew no fetters or chains, in Mark and Luke, many were used.)
Now, let us get the picture. When Jesus comes to the other side of the country of the Gergesenes, He meets two men coming out of a graveyard. They obviously have a problem. They have hurt themselves and others. They are fierce, angry men; so fierce and angry that other men are afraid of them and avoid them. These two men are possessed with devils that recognize Jesus immediately. They accuse Jesus of coming to torment them before their time. Notice some things that the devils know that many humans do not. First, they know Jesus. They believe in Jesus and God. There are no atheists among the devils. Secondly, they know that they are to be tormented by Jesus. There is no kings X or neutral, punishment will be meted out by God on evil. Thirdly, there is a set time for the punishment to occur. It is guaranteed…not maybe…it is going to happen.
The devils know they are going to be cast out (they understand a whole lot more about God than our technically advanced crowd does.) They pick the place and Jesus obliges them. The "unclean animal," the hog, evidently does not want to be that "unclean." He prefers death. The keepers of the swine race into town and inform the owners of what has happened to the two men. Notice that "the whole city came out to meet Jesus."
Let's evaluate the situation. Two miserable men with ruined lives were saved. Two men who had hurt themselves and others could now be profitable friends and neighbors. Two men who could now have a future and a family are sitting calmly. What a victory for them! It was Satan's minions who wanted to go into the swine, Jesus did not select the swine. He just gave the devils their desire. The crowd blamed Jesus! A Jew in the swine business was like a pastor selling street drugs. Instead of seeing the victory in two human beings lives, they saw the loss of profit in a bad business. It wasn't only the owners of the swine that wanted to be rid of Jesus, but the whole city! You would think the city would want Jesus to reside with them. Here was One Who could keep them free of disease and keep the crime rate down. Jesus had touched part of their economy and even though it was a part they could certainly do without, they did not want to do without it.
Men would rather of have the liquor profits than the saved lives, families and children. Millions of dollars are spent on getting treatment and rehab, instead of prevention. We have swapped our morals for fun and entertainment. We spend millions of dollars on finding a cure for AIDS, but not a dime on the prevention of it. In fact, much money is spent trying to get people to practice the sin that causes aids. You talk about an oxymoron. We keep trying to develop cures that will undo pregnancies after they have occurred. No one seems to know that there is sure-fire way of curtailing AIDS, alcoholism, drug addiction, porn addiction, etc. It is called ABSTINENCE!
The reason men hated Jesus, hate Jesus now and will continue to hate Jesus is because He tells them the truth. That is why man continues to rewrite His scripture. They hate Jesus; they hate God the Father, the Creator, the Judge. No one hates Buddha, Allah or Reverend Moon. They are anemic gods who can do nothing, but God Almighty can. The God Who had a Son can and will do something.
Man rebelled against God's authority. Man turned his back on his Creator. God sent His Son to bring man back to Him and man crucified His Son. After all of man's hatred toward Him,
"…God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Today, the vilest of sinners can turn his heart toward Jesus Christ, trust His death, burial and resurrection according to scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) and Christ will save his rotten soul, just as quick as He would a child who has just reached the age of accountability.
"Come ye sinners, lost and hopeless, Jesus' blood can make you free;
For He saved the worst among you, when He saved a wretch like me.
And I know, yes, I know, Jesus blood can make the vilest sinner clean."
Oh, what a Saviour!
Keep Looking Up!