MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (July 19, 2021)

I want you to picture a man, maybe in his early 60s, living in a little cottage by the Sea. Maybe he is a farmer, maybe a carpenter, getting close to retirement. As he goes into his home, his grandchildren gather around him, clamoring for his attention. As he get seated, the kids surrounding him in his den, they say to him, “Grandaddy, tell us the Pig Story!”

Do you have a Pig Story?

There was a man in the Gospel of Mark who had a Pig Story – and what a story it was! You see, this man was possessed of an unclean spirit, and had become an outcast to all his family and community. In Mark 5:2-5, we read the following: “And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder byhim, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, andin the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”

This man had problems, didn’t he? No earthly man could help him; but there was One Who could! And he met this Man on this day. This Man Jesus didn’t just “happen” to show up that day, either! In Mark 4:35, Jesus had said “Let us pass over to the other side.” He did NOT say, “Let’s go a little farther down the shore somewhere.” No! Jesus had an appointment with this wild Gadarene man.

And what did Jesus do for him? He looked upon him with compassion, and made the unclean spirits leave the man and enter into a herd of pigs, which then ran straightway into the sea and were drowned. No other man had been able to help him, but Jesus did!

Now, before we say “I’m sure glad I’m not like this man,” let’s remember that in fact we ARE like him! Maybe we aren’t demon-possessed, but we are by nature devilish. No man can help us in our natural state, and neither can we help ourselves because we are dead in trespasses and sins. The only help for us is the same One Who helped this man who was possessed by demons!

The result of Jesus’ encounter with the Wild Gadarene man is amazing: “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, andclothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.” (Mark. 5:15). The folks who knew this man couldn’t believe it! And when in Mark 5:18-20 he wanted to go with Jesus, He told him this: “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” He then “departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”

This is the Pig Story that the Wild Gadarene man had to tell. What a story of deliverance! I can just see him in later years as a dear old grandfather, telling his grandchildren his story. I realize this is speculation, but don’t you think if he did end up with a family that he would continually share with them the story of his great deliverance? I imagine he would be ready at the drop of a hat to tell others in his family and friends about the Man Who delivered him from the devils.

Let’s make this personal: do you have a Pig Story? I do! It’s not literally about pigs, but it is certainly about deliverance! There was a time when I was delivered from the bondage of sin, and delivered into life in Christ. What a deliverance it was – from the penalty of sin and from the bondage of sin! And because of that deliverance, I ought to be telling everyone about what Jesus has done for me.

ALL of God’s children have a Pig Story, and we ought to be telling it to everyone! May the Lord help us to share the good news of our deliverance with all those about us.

Elder Chris McCool