“And behold all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their region.” (Matthew 8:34)
Is there a proper way to handle unwelcome guests? You know, those people who arrive uninvited, have no concept of manners, and won’t take a hint that it’s time for them to leave. How can we remain gracious and set definite limits without them feeling rejected and us feeling guilty?
They are direct opposites of the visitors we invite to visit and hate to see them leaving.
I’d like to think Jesus would never be unwelcomed among us, but this biblical account caused me to really think about that notion. Jesus performed countless miracles and answered prayers wherever He went, His power and glory on full display. Yet, the people in this town reacted to miraculous deliverance in an unexpected way. Instead of worship and praise, they wanted Jesus out of their town – the very Man who held the answers to redemption, to eternal life (Matthew 8:28-34).
What was the reason behind their demand? Fear? Shame? Or could it have been an overwhelming sense of terror once they witnessed the majesty of His holiness?
Sometimes we like to think we are different from the people in the Bible, but are we really? I wonder how we respond to the Lord when He answers our prayers in such a mighty way that His glory illuminates everything around us. In such a way that everybody around us can see that God has touched our lives.
God’s holiness makes us aware of our own flaws – our shortcomings, disobedience, rebellion, and sin. What will we do? Totally submit to God? Or turn away?
When God reveals areas in our lives that need His touch, we have to remember that He is dealing with us because of His love for us (Psalm 94:12; Hebrews 12:5-7). We have to trust that God plans a good future for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
We must decide if we are willing to face our fears, let go of wrong mindsets, and trust in God’s goodness if we want His glory magnified in our lives. Let’s not be guilty of pushing the Lord away, because we are scared to witness the transforming results that His touch brings to our lives.
Prayer: Lord, give us the courage to fully trust You with our lives. Help us to welcome Your touch and never turn away from You. Let Your glory shine through us in such a way that others will be drawn to You.