“And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.” (Luke 8:40)
What a difference this reception was from the one Jesus had just left in Gadera! In verse thirty-seven of the same chapter, we read, “Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them…” What had offended these people was Jesus’ apparent assumption that people are more important than pigs. He had dared to send demons that held a poor, wretched maniac in bondage, into a herd of swine. You may think this is a textbook example of perverted priorities, but there are some today that might not agree with you.
For instance, my brother once sent me an article about an amendment that had been passed by the Florida Legislature protecting pregnant sows from being housed in stalls too small for unhampered movement. These cramped circumstances may have needed attention, but did they really rise to the need of a constitutional amendment?
Now, before we get too judgmental in either of these cases, let’s make sure you and I do not harbor petty grievances in our own lives against the Lord for upsetting our plans or intruding on our good times. I heard of one Christian who has suffered hardships in her life, and is now engaging in activities that are in direct violation to the Word of God, her reasoning being, “I deserve to be happy.” But my response to that would be, “No, not if it takes sin to make you happy.” A “save my soul, but don’t cramp my style” kind of Christianity is either counterfeit, or, at the least, another textbook example of perverted priorities.
It's quite possible, though we would never admit it, that we might find acknowledging Christ to be bad for business, or a drag on our preferred lifestyle. Therefore, we might wish Him to quietly “depart” out of our lives for a little while, at least till we need Him again.
On the other hand, we could be like those people on the other side of the lake who “gladly received him." The ones who were actually “waiting for Him."
I hope so.