“And behold the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their land.” -Matthew 8:34
For context, Jesus had just cast demons out of two men in Gergesa, a gentile land. These demons were allowed to possess an entire herd of pigs, and then, they ran into a nearby body of water and drowned, killing the entire herd. The owner of the pigs ran into the city and told them everything he had witnessed, and everyone came out to meet Jesus.
First off, from this single event and Jesus’s reputation, many others believed in Jesus’s power. They thought that He had come to bring judgment on them and were afraid of Him. From their perspective, Jesus had just commanded an entire herd of pigs to commit mass suicide. That is pretty scary and powerful, and the gentiles were scared of His judgment falling upon them. Instead of begging Jesus for forgiveness, they asked Him to leave.
We are the Gergesenes. We see God working, and God’s light shines on our sins and faults. We become scared and self-conscious. We do not want God to see us like this, but we know something that the gentiles of Jesus’s day did not know: Jesus came to save us. He took the punishment that the Gergesenes were so afraid of upon Himself so that we would not have to suffer it. The difference between us and the gentiles in this passage is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Never forget that, for this is the reason for our faith.