You have to feel a little sorry for the pigs. They’re just sort of bystanders in this drama that unfolds between Jesus and the demons possessing the man Jesus encounters on the shore. And yet they’re the ones who rush down down the steep bank and drown in the lake — along with the demons.
This week’s gospel lesson is a wild story, no doubt loaded with a lot of symbolism. Jesus and the disciples cross a lake into Gentile territory, the ministry expands. Just off the boat, Jesus encounters evil and wins. And yet the locals tell him to go away.
The grateful man whose demons have been removed wants to go with Jesus. He wants to follow Jesus. But Jesus says, “No, stay here. Tell people what God has done for you.”
We hear a lot in the church today about “making disciples” and “discipling.” Here’s a cool little video about “discipling” — though I’m thinking that’s not really a word.
What does this week’s gospel passage suggest to you about following Jesus?
What do you like about this passage? What bothers you?
And, of course, what’s going on with those poor pigs and drowning in the lake? See any symbolism or parallels there?