Matthew – Fulfilled
People flocked to a grand event of great worship of God, with musicians giving their best back to God. It was a time of testimonies and praise of our Lord for what He had done, is doing and will do in our lives. Spirit-led speakers came to encourage us and give us Biblical perspective so that we would look to God to continue the transformation of our lives. The Holy Spirit was there, in us, working through us, leading us and filling us to the brim, overflowing with love for each other. After the week was over, as a leader of this event, I read the evaluations. The evaluations were not a way to praise the event, but a way to see how people were touched by God, a reflection through this avenue of written testimony.
One evaluation deeply saddens my heart to this day as I remember it well. In big, bold, all capital letters, a person wrote of the discrimination that the event had against, wait for it, TEA DRINKERS! Apparently, the break time tables of coffee and cookies for the grown ups of the event did not include tea bags and hot water. This angry person used up the entire page telling us of our horrible oversite and that it should not ever happen again. Wow! I actually cried the first time I read it. The first thing that came to my mind was complete sadness for this person who missed the point…she missed JESUS! In all that happened, how in the world did she miss JESUS and what His Holy Spirit did in all of us?
You can pray, problem solve, and minister alongside folks with the best intentions and motivations of heart and still make someone mad. Jesus had the same issue one day as he solved a community problem of harassment by evil in men. Did that stop Him from completing what God had sent Him to do?
Matthew 8, The Message
The Madmen and the Pigs
28-31 They landed in the country of the Gadarenes and were met by two madmen, victims of demons, coming out of the cemetery. The men had terrorized the region for so long that no one considered it safe to walk down that stretch of road anymore. Seeing Jesus, the madmen screamed out, “What business do you have giving us a hard time? You’re the Son of God! You weren’t supposed to show up here yet!” Off in the distance a herd of pigs was browsing and rooting. The evil spirits begged Jesus, “If you kick us out of these men, let us live in the pigs.”
32-34 Jesus said, “Go ahead, but get out of here!” Crazed, the pigs stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. Scared to death, the swineherds bolted. They told everyone back in town what had happened to the madmen and the pigs. Those who heard about it were angry about the drowned pigs. A mob formed and demanded that Jesus get out and not come back.
What do we learn?
–Jesus solves a community problem of terror.
–Evil recognized Jesus.
–The community didn’t see Jesus, the Son of God…only the drowned livestock. (I’m thinking of salted pork! They could have made money on that!)
–The next time we gather as God’s own, look for Jesus! Ask the Holy Spirit to teach us. God answers prayers such as this, allowing us to be blind to all that is around us, such as the lack of teabags on the fellowship cart, and see only Him.
–Set your minds on Christ and see what He will do in and through us!
–Don’t miss the point! Leaders, keep moving forward, with the Holy Spirit leading you.
Dear Heavenly Father, What silly humans we can be when we look around at our environment instead of looking up to You. You are our only Hope, Our Deliverer from evil and evil’s schemes to distract us. We pray to be focused only on YOU as we worship you with our very lives. Help us to never miss the point! YOU are the only Way, the Truth and the Life.
In Jesus Name, Amen