Matt 8:28 When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. {They were} so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.

Matt 8:29 And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"

Matt 8:30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them.

Matt 8:31 The demons {began} to entreat Him, saying, "If You {are going to} cast us out, send us into the herd of swine."

Matt 8:32 And He said to them, "Go!" And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.

Matt 8:33 The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs.

Matt 8:34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.

I am wondering about this story for the last day or so. Does anyone see some foreshadowing within this story? Please let me know if you do.

The reason I ask is because yesterday, after I read verse 32, I did a double take. “They came out” and “went into the swine” and the “whole herd” “perished in the waters”.

When I look at the language used for this story, I see foreshadowing. Maybe I am wrong, but look at the animal in the story. Swine? Remember that we are not to cast our pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear us to pieces. (Matthew 7:6) Who are the swine? Are they anybody? Or is that warning simply hot air? Is it Jesus talking in mystical, meaningless alarms? Are there any bad people left? Are there any swine left? Are we all swine who have been made clean?

I think not. Do not ask me yet why I think not. I am not prepared to answer that. My heart leads on this one, and I think what I think because of my heart.

So, are there swine among us to this day? Some believers say that all people are saved, and I have to admit, it sounds like something I want to be true. However, I just don’t have the evidence to prove it. I see the verses they use to prove their points, but I see so many other verses that absolutely contradict that idea. So again, are there swine? Would Jesus have mentioned them if there weren’t?

What WOULD Jesus do? Read the scriptures, does Jesus seem like someone who would utter idle threats, and offer up stories about mythical places just to scare people into believing?

If you are willing, reread the scripture above. See any foreshadowing yet? We have two men, demons, and a herd of swine. The demons ask Jesus a question. Jesus responds by casting them out, PERMITTING them to enter the herd of swine, allowing the destruction of an entire herd of animals, so that two men might be saved. And what happens next? The owners of the herd come out to see what has occurred.

These owners implore Jesus to leave their region. Never mind that two men widely known to be demon possessed have been healed. The swine are more important to the herders than the two men. The swine are their livelihood, and they would rather have their livelihood returned to them, than the fellowship of two men who could boast of the miracles of God.

Foreshadowing, I say, of all of the time from that moment to this, where we see many healed of demon persistence, and yet many more taking the broad path that leads to destruction, in fact, rushing headlong down a steep bank to get there.

I am not a doomsday prophet. I don’t get into the end times much. But it seems to me that many believe Jesus saved the entire world on the day he died on the cross. To this I would say, you are correct in thinking that. I believe strongly that the destruction, the end of this world was upon us when Jesus was crucified. But Jesus took the wrath of that age, and all the ages before and after upon Himself, and thus saved the world from certain destruction. He fulfilled what He came here to fulfill, and He started a church along the way.

But let’s never confuse saving the world with reconciling all of mankind to God. For what I see is that men still die, and if God and man were all reconciled, man would no longer die, for the penalty, the punishment of eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil would have become needless anymore.

Men still die. Returning again to the scripture we see that a few men were delivered from demon persistence. An entire herd of swine was destroyed for them. One chapter earlier in Matthew, Jesus is not talking about literal pigs when He implores us to not cast our pearls before swine. This story, as I see it, is an extreme foreshadowing of what was to come as the result of saving the world, and reconciling those who know Him to God. The world does not know Jesus. Certain individuals do. We do not choose who is reconciled, Jesus does that.

Are all reconciled to God at some point? I do not know the answer to that question with any certainty. But I will say this. If all is accomplished, and if all are reconciled to God here and now, then death is needless. Yet death occurs.

An entire herd of swine is rushing headlong down an embankment. I don’t think I am talking about pigs. Will Jesus once again watch them be destroyed, and not lift a finger to stop them, even though He loves the world so much He died for it?

The herd of swine was under that same love, was it not? We can argue all month long about How God is love, and what that means. But I don’t think any of us really understands what love is, and what God is willing to do, and willing to not do, because of it. Will this same God who slaughtered His Son allow the destruction of those who refuse Him? Is that love?

Well, this same God allowed the slaughter of His Son. Is that love? Just a few questions for tonight. I am not convinced of anything save that I love God regardless of what is true, whether all are reconciled to God or not. Maybe all are reconciled at some point. I hope so. But my love for God does not depend upon it. No, my love is derived without conditions, such as “God must be this way, or God must be that way, or I could never love Him”. Don’t hem God in, He’s more than He has revealed to us in the pages of a book.

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