By Ronald Bartanen
“Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them: for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again” (Luke 8:37).
Jesus Christ will not impose Himself upon anyone. He won’t stay where he’s unwanted. The Gadarenes were so upset with Jesus when He cast a legion of demons from a man and sent them into nearby hogs. To them, the hogs were of more value than the man, so they “besought him to depart from them.” In our world today there is an increasing animosity towards Jesus as He seemingly intrudes into men’s comfort-zones. Even the mention of His name in prayer is not considered appropriate in schools, the military, etc. His word is considered out-of-date and irrelevant.
Some would purposely exclude Him from their lives. These would tell us there should be no positive mention of Him in school or public activities. He is even being written out of school history books.
Some would exclude Him in their choice of life-style. Evil so fills their hearts and lives, it is impossible for Christ to take up residence in them. He is excluded from their lives.
Some would crowd Him out—not purposely, but simply by filling their lives with material things. Such find no time for Christ, Bible reading or church. Other things clamor for their attention.
What about you? Would you be among those to send Him away? Or would you welcome Him into your life?
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.