You’re listening to a recap of “How to Drown Pigs” From our series “Multiply.”
Mark 5:1-20is a story about a scary man, dead places, Jesus drowning pigs, and how we live in the aftermath of grace. It is a story that at first glance seems so different from our lives, but a closer look reveals that it is a story that mirrors our lives very closely. Listen in, as pastor Dave Foix tells the story in a way you haven’t heard before.
5 So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes.[a]2 When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil[b] spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4 Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
6 When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. 7 With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”
9 Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”
And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” 10 Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.
11 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby.12 “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”
13 So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
14 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened.15 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns[c] of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.
John 8:34 says “Jesus Replied: I tell you the truth, Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Sin has us in chains, sin controls us, the reason we are always doing things we don’t want to do is because we are a slave to sin. The reason we keep going back and back and back and we can’t seem to break free, it’s because literally we are slaves to sin. Until Jesus.
Jesus won’t blush when you bring your mess. We know we bring a mess to the table, and sometimes we approach Jesus and we’re afraid He’s going to blush and not want us because of how messy we are. And actually, we have to get comfortable in bringing our mess. We can’t hide it. Admitting and owning our brokenness and sinfulness is the best first steps we take toward Jesus. Often times in our spiritual life what’s holding us back is we don’t want to let our mess be found out. We don’t want to admit who we really are. We don’t want to really own the brokenness we know is inside of us.
Come now as you are! How often have we wanted to fix the own brokenness in us? And we fail, and we fail, and we fail, and the frustration builds, and then we just start to believe the lie that it just can’t happen. The truth is, it can’t happen so long as you try to fix it, but it can happen when you approach Jesus and let him do the stuff!
Maybe you identify with that, you feel like, “you know what? I met Jesus, but I still have this mess.” And so, What you’re really asking is “why do I feel like my pigs are still swimming?” Here’s some practical things that might help us drown our pigs. How to drown pigs 101:
We ask Jesus, because we know Jesus has to do the work.
We surrender. There’s nothing else we can do and we trust him.
But then we also have to participate in the work. He does the stuff, but we’re active participants.
We have to learn to be honest about our brokenness. You can live with your secrets and you’ll continue down your struggles. I promise you that. But when you start to be honest about your brokenness, you will start to see relief.
Keep reminding yourself that Jesus did the work, but then walk away from the water. You don’t need to stand and look at who you used to be anymore. You don’t need to get yourself close to the struggles you used to have.
Talk about everything Jesus has done. So when Jesus transforms a section of you, verbalize it.
Then get dressed. We literally put on the spirit of Christ. We start to see ourselves through the lens of what Jesus has done in us and through us and we walk that out.