Throughout the Gospels, we hear of Jesus moving from town to town healing crowds of believers of everything from paralysis to demonic possession. At each of these events, there are always witnesses who are shocked by what they see with their own eyes. Sometimes the shock leads to a deep faith in Christ; other times, the shock leads to rejecting Jesus and sending Him away.
In the Gospel of Luke, we hear how Jesus heals a man who was being controlled by so many demons that, when asked his name, the demons replied, “Legion.” In sending the demons out of the man, Jesus allowed them to enter a herd of pigs. The pigs couldn’t endure the torment of the demons and “ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.” (Luke 8.33)
As with every healing, many witnesses saw this event and some believed while others rejected God. The Gospel says, “Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes, asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him.” (Luke 8.37-38)
His faith was so deeply affected by God’s gift of healing, that he didn’t want to leave Jesus’ side. Compare that to those who witnessed the healing, but who wanted to be as far away from Jesus as possible. This is the difference between heaven and hell.
Many believe that hell will be the place all the bad people get ‘sent to’ for eternity. Hell isn’t a place as much as a state of mind. All the people witnessed the healing. Only those who witnessed it with love, were in heaven. Those who witnessed it with greed, were in hell even though they were alive.
Heaven or hell is in our hearts. If we love being with God, watching His love for others brings us joy. If our hearts feel anything other than joy when we witness God’s love for others, then we are experiencing a taste of hell because our hearts have been infected by the greed of demons. Remember! Because the crowd lost their pigs, their greed would not allow them to see God’s love.
Take a moment and ask yourself if you have ever been jealous or even angry when you saw God bless someone else. If we’re honest, we have all tasted hell at some point, with our jealousy and greed. Our hearts need to be healed, just like the man in today’s Gospel. If we allow Him, Jesus has chosen to stop in your heart today and do some healing; we all need a little healing from Jesus. One thing remains….how will you react?