Opposition to Jesus

The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.—Matt. 8:33–34

It’s startling to realize that some people do not respect Jesus as much as the demons do. But that was exactly the case for this city (probably ancient Gerasa). The populace wanted nothing to do with the Lord but actually begged Him to leave their area. Mark’s account of the incident gives us more clues to their attitudes: “the people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind … and they became frightened” (Mark 5:14–15). As much as any hostility they may have had, they were simply scared.

As unregenerate sinners, the Gerasenes were no doubt bewildered and intimidated by Jesus. They saw His ability to control demons and animals and to restore crazed minds to sanity—and the result was complete opposition to Christ.

In sharp contrast to the attitude of the city people, one of the delivered men implored Jesus to let him go with Him (Mark 5:18). He manifested a great faith, love, and adoration for the Lord—so much so that he could not bear the thought of separation. But Jesus commanded him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). The man was to be an evangelist to his own people, testifying that despite their present opposition to Jesus, the Son of God did not want them to perish spiritually.

ASK YOURSELF
Are there people in your life whose rejection of and opposition to Christ are totally baffling to you—going against all logic and every example of God’s reality? How should you respond to such hardheadedness?[1]

MacArthur, J. Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 225). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

This post speaks for itself!

This portion describes a LOT of people and groups who oppose Biblical Christianity, as well as Jesus Himself!

As unregenerate sinners, the Gerasenes were no doubt bewildered and intimidated by Jesus. They saw His ability to control demons and animals and to restore crazed minds to sanity—and the result was complete opposition to Christ.

Hat Tip:  Truth 2 Freedom’s blog

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8 Responses to “Opposition to Jesus”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    Sorry I’m late.

    It’s startling to realize that some people do not respect Jesus as much as the demons do.

    It’s startling to realize that some people do not respect the Jedi as much as the Sith do. Cops and crooks always acknowledge each other; it’s the citizens who are unaware.

    The populace wanted nothing to do with the Lord but actually begged Him to leave their area. Mark’s account of the incident gives us more clues to their attitudes: “the people came to see what it was that had happened.

    What had happened was that a man had been cured of his madness, but also that someone else had had been robbed of his livelihood! If you had been responsible for causing the destruction of a “great herd of swine”, I doubt that all the livestock owners would be happy to have you around! Just throw demons into them and watch them throw themselves into the sea, without so much as a ‘with your permission’ and with no compensation afterward. Two thousand pigs drowned; the Jews didn’t eat pork, but it was apparently okay to sell it.
    Being the Boss’s Son has advantages; you never have to explain your actions to anyone, because I’m pretty sure that under Jewish law, restitution would have had to be paid.

    CJW:This portion describes a LOT of people and groups who oppose Biblical Christianity, as well as Jesus Himself!

    While it paints a rather flattering picture of Jesus by curing the Graveyard Man, it also shows his indifference to temporal affairs. If you believe that the end of the age is near, what’s a couple thousand pigs matter anyway?
    Also, the story would have lacked drama if Jesus had placed the demons into, say, a mountain.

    As unregenerate sinners, the Gerasenes were no doubt bewildered and intimidated by Jesus. They saw His ability to control demons and animals and to restore crazed minds to sanity—and the result was complete opposition to Christ.

    Sure, because the Gerasenes may have thought Jesus might have forced demons into them just as easily as he forced them out of that one guy.
    Of course, if the people had known that Jesus would lose his virtue if he were to be touched by a woman (5:25~32), they might have let him stay. Magic works like that.

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  2. theacceptabledigest Says:

    Hey Christine! I sure hope you and your family are doing well. I see Mr. Pilot hasn’t spent his entire $.02 yet.
    It’s too bad the folks didn’t control the herd of swine. More than likely, the demons went into one pig (after all, they were in just one man) … that pig ran into the sea, the others simply followed. Bummer … pigs being pigs. Had the owners controlled the 1,999 … they may have lost only one. Interesting how some folks always have the tendency to blame God for their loss or misfortune.
    Take good care young lady!
    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • christinewjc Says:

      Steve!!! How are you? Nice to hear from you again- especially with that great comment!

      We are doing very well, thanks! Soooo busy lately; especially helping to watch our sweet granddaughter. Family trips have made this summer fun, too.

      Thanks for sharing that important biblical information. We keep trying to help GM see the truth, but we know, “there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” And that’s what he is all about. Refusal to see. We will never have enough answers for him. After all these years at my former blog as well as this blog, we know why he’s here.

      Hope you and Rina & family are all doing well! God bless,
      Christine

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GMpilot Says:

    steve:
    Interesting how some folks always have the tendency to blame God for their loss or misfortune.

    Haven’t read Isaiah 45:7 lately, steve? Or do you just ignore that verse?

    CJW:
    We keep trying to help GM see the truth, but we know, “there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” And that’s what he is all about. Refusal to see. We will never have enough answers for him.

    Your mutual appreciation society meeting was interesting, but this post is not about me—it’s supposedly about Him and the reported opposition to him.
    You don’t have any answers, so you’d prefer I stop asking the questions. Snide remarks are not answers, but that’s all the Paladin has.

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    • steve Says:

      GM … you’re having enough difficulty grasping what I wrote above, so you’re somewhat out of your area of expertise grasping what Isa. 45:7 says.
      And no, I hadn’t read that for around 2 or 3 months as I’ve gotten past Isaiah in my quest to read the Bible through (again) in less than a year.
      Let’s try this seeing you’re “proficient” in quoting scripture to make a point …
      But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
      Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee …These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

      Get back to me on that please.

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      • GMpilot Says:

        GM … you’re having enough difficulty grasping what I wrote above, so you’re somewhat out of your area of expertise grasping what Isa. 45:7 says.

        Like all persons, I read the same book you did, and the same words you did, and reached a different conclusion. There’s no doubt as to what Isaiah 45:7 says, but there’s people who would try to explain away that “I make evil” part. Praying to a god who does evil to you–isn’t that a bit like paying off a mobster to leave your business alone?

        And no, I hadn’t read that for around 2 or 3 months as I’ve gotten past Isaiah in my quest to read the Bible through (again) in less than a year.

        That means you don’t ignore that verse, then, which makes you better than some.

        Let’s try this seeing you’re “proficient” in quoting scripture to make a point …
        But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

        If, as I am told, those statutes are meant for all men to hear and obey (49:1), then anyone may declare them…even me. I didn’t see any words forbidding it.
        You must know that history describes those who declared the holy statutes and took covenants, and yet violated them, every day, sometimes for decades.
        …and why the quotes around “proficient”? I never said I was.
        Of course, you claim that I’m ‘somewhat out of [my] area of expertise’, which means I shouldn’t be proficient at all!

        Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee …These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

        Hey, you didn’t follow through with the hammer:

        Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

        Be delivered or be dismembered. Wow, that’s some reproof! That sounds like words the other gods in that region would have said.

        Get back to me on that please.

        Here you are. Hope it was prompt enough.

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      • christinewjc Says:

        Hopefully, Steve won’t mind if I jump in here and share a portion of a commentary on Isaiah 45, written by Bible scholar, David Guzik.

        I think that the following portion of his commentary might answer your particular objection against God and your false claim that “God does evil.”

        d. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things: Simply put, Isaiah knows, Cyrus would know and declare to the whole world, and we should know today, that God is in control. Since this prophecy was given long before God’s people went into the captivity Isaiah now announces deliverance from, they could be comforted through the captivity by knowing God is in control.

        i. Isaiah’s point is that there are not two gods or forces in heaven, one good and one bad, as in a dualistic “yin and yang” sense. “Cyrus was a Persian, and Persian had a dualistic concept of God and the world. Their good god they called Ahura-mazda and the evil god Angra-mainya. The former had created the light, the second the darkness.” (Bultema)

        ii. But God has no opposite. Satan is not and has never been God’s opposite. There is one God. He is not the author of evil; evil is never “original,” but always a perversion of an existing good. Yet God is the allower of evil, and He uses it to accomplish His eternal purpose of bringing together all things in Jesus (Ephesians 3:8-11 and 1:9-10). If God could further His eternal purpose by allowing His Son to die a wicked, unjust death on a cross, then He knows how to use what He allows for His eternal purpose.

        iii. “Undoubtedly the Lord is no representative of evil as such, but He does make use of evil so that it may bring forth good.” (Calvin, cited in Butlema)

        iv. When God does great, miraculous things, it is easy to believe that He is in control. When times are hard and the trials heavy, we need to believe it all the more.

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      • GMpilot Says:

        CJW: I think that the following portion of his commentary might answer your particular objection against God and your false claim that “God does evil.”

        You sure you want to go down this path, Christine? You want me to not trust my eyes, and deny the words I’ve read in the Book you guide your life by? It’s one thing if I don’t trust the authority of that text, but quite another when a devoted believer like yourself is telling me that I can’t trust what I’ve read!
        But if that’s how you want it…

        d. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things: Simply put, Isaiah knows, Cyrus would know and declare to the whole world, and we should know today, that God is in control. Since this prophecy was given long before God’s people went into the captivity Isaiah now announces deliverance from, they could be comforted through the captivity by knowing God is in control.

        Creating calamity isn’t evil? No matter to whom it’s done?
        Did the Israelites benefit in any way from their captivity? Or did they adopt the habits and customs of their captors?

        i. Isaiah’s point is that there are not two gods or forces in heaven, one good and one bad, as in a dualistic “yin and yang” sense. “Cyrus was a Persian, and Persian had a dualistic concept of God and the world. Their good god they called Ahura-mazda and the evil god Angra-mainya. The former had created the light, the second the darkness.” (Bultema)

        Obviously the Hebrews, and much later, the Christians, picked up on this dualistic God. Keeping the same name for both aspects of the god must have generated some confusion (see below).

        ii. But God has no opposite. Satan is not and has never been God’s opposite. There is one God. He is not the author of evil; evil is never “original,” but always a perversion of an existing good.

        So the god of the Bible is a schizophrenic god? That might explain a great deal about the history of the Abrahamic religions—each one believes it has the true God, and each faith persecutes the other based on this.
        But Satan—whatever his origins—has a use. This article tries to claim that evil can’t possibly come from a good-guy god; therefore, Satan. A convenient whipping-boy when a believer’s faith begins to falter.
        If this god created everything–and I am assured that he did—then he is indeed the author of evil. No one could believe that mere humans could create anything so powerful!

        The ‘perversion of an existing good’…well, I can understand that. The pot of water I have can be used to boil my tea or drown my grandma. The water’s not good or evil, just how it’s used.
        But destroying a dam, leading to the deaths of thousands in a flood, would be considered vile by most people. When BibleGod floods the whole world, his power is praised…by the survivors, anyway.

        Yet God is the allower of evil, and He uses it to accomplish His eternal purpose of bringing together all things in Jesus (Ephesians 3:8-11 and 1:9-10).

        Has that purpose been achieved? Or is that, as you say, eternal?

        If God could further His eternal purpose by allowing His Son to die a wicked, unjust death on a cross, then He knows how to use what He allows for His eternal purpose of bringing together all things in Jesus (Ephesians 3:8-11 and 1:9-10).

        If God furthers his eternal purpose by allowing his son to die a wicked, unjust death on a cross, then he knows of no other way to achieve his goal…or he knows of a better way and chooses not to use it. To claim the first is impossible (God knows every possible way), and to claim the second is unthinkable (as it makes him incredibly cruel).

        iii. “Undoubtedly the Lord is no representative of evil as such, but He does make use of evil so that it may bring forth good.” (Calvin, cited in Butlema)

        By this logic, the Lord made use of the Nazis; twenty-five million people died in Europe from 1939~45 in order that three years later the nation of Israel would be reconstituted. Therefore, Hitler and his crowd were not responsible for their actions, because they were just carrying out the Lord’s will by destroying Jews (which is exactly what Hitler once proclaimed in a speech). That made the Nuremberg trials unjust—if you really believe that.

        iv. When God does great, miraculous things, it is easy to believe that He is in control. When times are hard and the trials heavy, we need to believe it all the more.

        WHY? Why do we need to believe it more, when things are going just as he wants them to?
        We all know of people who have gone “out of control”. What reason is there to think that gods are immune to this? When people go out of control, they can be restrained by anything from a kind word from someone to a SWAT team, depending on the situation. But the King of the Universe has no such restraints. There is no one whose authority he recognizes, no hand that can be raised to stop him. And we know that he is not as long-suffering as he wants us to be.

        If this were a simple matter, and if you had the ‘mind of Christ’, there would be no problem explaining this to me. Instead, you resort to a professional interpreter like Guzik to tell me that I didn’t actually read what I actually read.

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