I just recently challenged my Facebook friends to look at Matthew 8:28-34 and to find application in those verses. I thought I would share it on my blog as well. Before reading the rest of this article read those verses and see what you can find.
Glad you are back! Let's look at a couple of things. To the Jewish mindset farmers should not be raising animals that are unclean to eat. Therefore, the loss of a herd of pigs was not a great loss to a Jewish audience. Remember, Matthew's account was written with a Jewish flavor because that was his background. From the view of the farmers, however, this was a great loss.
There are different reactions by different audiences. The Jews focused on the pig farmers and felt there was no great loss because they were doing something they were not supposed to be doing in the first place. The application here is to make sure to be focused on what is important to God rather than our personal desires. Sometimes we can't see those (the individuals) who need to be freed from sin because we are more concerned with their actions (the sin itself).
The farmers, on the other hand, suffered a great loss (their livelihood) for the liberation of two men. Obviously, they were angry and reported this to their families and friends who in turn asked Jesus to leave the area. The application here is to be careful what you deem to be important in your lives. We must be careful to follow Jesus no matter what the cost. Are we willing to give up everything to follow Jesus or are we more concerned about our "stuff"?
Finally, in this passage we see that Jesus can free us from the realm and control of the unseen. Satanic control and influence are real and we must be sure of whose side we are on. Have you been freed from the chains and bondage of sin and death? This is not something you can do on your own, but rather is is only through the power of Jesus Himself.
It is a great passage to study. Hopeless people, suicidal pigs, and angry farmers. Jesus certainly "stirs things up"!