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Parking spaces near our seaside cottage are at a premium, and the street is often crowded with cars. One day our neighbor put up a sign: “No Parking Here.” Later he added another: “No Turning in Driveway.” Finally he added a third: “No Cutting through the Yard.” That’s when the neighbor across the street put up his own sign: “And Don’t Come Over Here Either!”
~ Richard Lindgren
No matter how effective and compassionate you are in ministry, some people have no desire for the things of Christ! Such is the lesson today. Having taught from this area in Israel on this very passage, I still am amazed at the rejection of Jesus by these people. Listen as as our passage clarifies the lesson …
When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region. Matthew 8:28-34 (NKJV)
We become like Jesus when …
o We honor the wishes of others, even when it means they have no desire for our ministry!
Rejection is simply hard to get used to! But we must not be confused – unreceptive people will not become more receptive simply because we stick around. Your life is too short … and Jesus models the importance of finding those who are receptive.
Life is simply too short and there are too many people who need your Eagle leadership to waste your time on rejectors! While this may sound callous, it is, in fact, gracious. We do not force the gospel or its lifestyle on those who simply have no interest in it.
Jesus teaches Eagle leaders to move on … reach out and pour ourselves into those who are interested. This week, why not take a moment and do some evaluation about your ministry. Are you forcing yourself into situations that are clearly not places God has opened?
© 2009 By Dr. Matthew Lee Smith