A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. – Mark 5:11-17
Have you ever thought about the actual monetary value of peace in Christ? This morning I was reading the fifth chapter of Mark and was thinking about how Jesus cast the demons from a man in the region of the Gerasenes into a herd of pigs. According to the Scriptures, as Jesus was exiting a boat a man with “an impure spirit” left the tombs to greet Him. Although folks in this region had tried to restrain this man with chains, the power of Satan was strong in this man and he would simply break free from the chains and “no one was strong enough to restrain him.” This poor demon possessed man would spend his days in the tombs crying out and “cutting himself with stones.” It is hard for me not to think about my young hurting friends out there who may be reading this devotional and are “cutters.”
According to the Scriptures, this man finally met someone who was stronger than the demons within him, Jesus of Nazareth. Mark tells us that the demons begged Jesus not to torture them and that He cast the demons from this ravaged man into a nearby herd of over 2,000 pigs. When the demons entered the pigs they rushed into the water and were drowned.
Have you ever wondered why the people of Garasenes wanted Jesus to leave their region after witnessing this miracle of healing? Was it fear or was it something else? Those pigs were valuable. Did you know that an average pig today can afford around 140 lbs. of meat? If you do the math, 2,000 pigs X 140 lbs = 280,000 lbs. of pig meat that were lost in a matter of minutes.
According to http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=pork the current value of pork is $ 0.8413 per pound, which would put today’s value of 2,000 pigs at $235,564 dollars (if I did the math correctly). That is a lot of money. So freeing a demon possessed man from a legion of demons ended up costing the farmers in that region a lot of money that day. I’m wondering if the farmers thought that 2,000 live pigs were more valuable than a demon-free man…clearly Jesus thought that the cost was worth it.
The Scriptures tell us that the demon-free man begged to follow Jesus but Jesus told the man, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” (Mark 5:19-20)
So I’ll ask the question again, what is the value of peace in Christ? Would you pay $235,564 dollars for it? The Good News is that you don’t have to pay anything for peace in Christ. Jesus already paid the price with His own blood on the Cross. Just go to Him and ask for it and then tell everyone what He has done for you. It’s really that simple.
Dear Lord, help us to understand Your math. Forgive us when we value the tangible more than the eternal. Yours alone is the glory, power and praise. Bring peace to your people who are in pain and torment at this very hour. Give us all the strength to call out your Holy name Jesus and bring us peace.