There were about 2000 pigs that some men were feeding on the side of a mountain. No doubt, these men were watching over the pigs because they were a source of income. Today, we would probably call them pig farmers – out there on the side of the mountain just minding their business. Famous in the region was a naked, demon-possessed man who wandered in the mountains and among the tombs cutting himself with stones and crying out night and day, no doubt with blood-curdling screams and shrieks echoing among the hills. Many times people had tried to chain the man and confine him, but with supernatural strength, the man just broke loose. When Jesus showed up there, the man was drawn to him, and Jesus commanded the demons to come out of the man. The demons, knowing they must leave the man, asked Jesus to allow them to go into the herd of pigs. Jesus gave permission, the demons left the man and entered the pigs, and the pig farmers watched their whole herd of pigs go crazy and run down the side of the mountain and drown in the sea. 2000 pigs at today’s prices would be a pretty good chunk of change. One account says the people of the region asked Jesus to leave. That could have been because they were more interested in keeping their personal financial interests intact rather than seeing people go free of personal bondages.
Jesus, operating by the Spirit of God, had other priorities. His desire is to set people free from bondage. His whole earthly ministry constantly demonstrated this. He came to give us abundant life in every way, including financially, but whatever it takes, he wants our spirit, soul, and body free, even if it puts all the pigs in the pond. Your personal freedom is his priority. He gave his life-blood for that, and sent the Holy Spirit to fill us for us to follow him and do the works of the Father. That is true ministry. That will get the job done that needs to be done. The good news is that we can be filled and follow him and when we stand before God in the judgment day, we can hear “Well done, good and faithful servant, you put my passion ahead of the pigs” – 2000 pigs in the pond. (Matthew 8; Mark 5; Luke 8; Matthew 25)