Everybody loves Jesus nowadays. Have you noticed? Christians aren’t too well liked in many quarters, but Jesus retains His popularity. And in light of that, everyone wants Him on their side.
The debate about marriage is a modern day example of this: Much is made about the fact that the Lord never said anything overtly about homosexuality, so LGBT folks and their supporters are proud to call Him one of theirs. (Though of course He did assume marriage was between one man and one woman. [Matthew 19:4 – 6])
But, leaving that topic behind, my point was that everyone likes Jesus.
Muslims like Jesus…Hindus like Jesus…Buddhists like Jesus.
I suppose that most everyone in most every religion feels warmly about Jesus of Nazareth. Liberals have left behind almost everything He said of any consequence, so that what they believe is mostly unrecognizable from the Bible, and yet…they still like to sprinkle their Jesus dust around.
Everyone loves Jesus.
And then we read the story of what happened one day in the country of the Gadarenes, and it makes me wonder if the world would love Jesus so much if they knew Him the way the people of that region knew Him. Matthew tells the story of the demon-possessed men from that area who met the Lord coming out of the tombs. And the demons who possessed them begged to be set free to…go into the pigs. And after He grants this wish, they rush down and the pigs drown in the sea. The herdsmen take off and tell everyone. And then there’s this…
And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
The Gadarenes begged Him to leave, yet everyone today is…begging Him to stay. You see, I think this strange story of demons and drowning pigs illustrates a significant truth: in general, people today have absolutely no clue who the Lord Jesus Christ is.
Mr. Beaver, though, of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe…he knew, and he related to Lucy about the Christ-figure Aslan. Do you remember the story?
“Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king I tell you.”
If most people of the world truly knew Jesus, I think they might not be so excited about having Him around. I think they might join the folks of Gadarene. They would beg Him to leave their region.
After all, He is not a tame lion.
Tuesday, January 13: Matthew 9