And the devil laughed
If it had been today, the authorities would have come along, packed them up and tucked them away where they wouldn't have been a menace to the public. But not so in Jesus' time. These two demon-possessed men made life difficult for the citizens of the region. I wonder if the disciples were nervous when the Lord had this potentially nasty encounter with two wild-eyed mad men. Imagine their shock when the "crazies" identified Jesus as the Son of God (8:29).
Even the devil knows Truth when he sees it. Too bad the locals weren't as attuned to spiritual things.
When Jesus restored these two poor souls to their right minds, it cost the townspeople a few pigs. Not only did they miss the miracle that restored two of their citizens to them, and that should have clued them into the presence of Someone special among them, but they overlooked the not-so-subtle suggestion that, as Jews, they shouldn't have been anywhere near those pigs anyway.
Then came the ultimate proof of their spiritual blindness. "Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region" (8:34). Jesus has done them two huge favours—and they ask Him to leave them alone since His presence is bad for business. It almost makes you wonder if they had been charging admission to the tourists for the privilege of seeing the "crazies" before they offered them a side dish of barbequed pork, served on top of a bowl of lentils from a nearby refreshment stand.
How could anyone miss the obvious? God arrives and then gets sent away?
I wonder how often I do the same. My agenda, my business, my concerns, my possessions, my ministry, my family, my friends, my habits. Go away God, you're upsetting my well-ordered life by changing things that I don't want changes made to,
I wonder what happened to these townsfolk after Jesus left? Did they ever notice that they had slammed the door in the face of God and lost everything to gain nothing? Do we notice?
I'll bet the devil laughed.