A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a controversial blog post…
an open letter to moms who feel that their daughters are left out… and after 900+ posts, this one garnered the most mixed response. Apparently it hit a nerve.
Then, I sat with one, much wiser than I, who said something to this effect…
“Heidi, this Bible story keeps coming to my mind. Hear me out. Jesus hand picked His disciples… ‘I want you…and you…and you to follow me.’ Soon after that comes the story of the man with many demons. He was violent and possessed by so many demons, that the demons called themselves ‘Legion.’ Jesus healed that man and cast those demons into a herd of pigs who then were drowned in the sea. The man was completely healed and begged Jesus to let him go with Jesus and the disciples in the boat to the other side of the lake. Jesus said ‘No.’ Jesus did not include that healed man in his inner circle of friends, even though he begged to be included.”
(Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39)
Here’s the irony. I have heard and read the story of the drowned pigs more times that I can remember but I cannot recall ever hearing that the healed man begged to join Jesus and the disciples in the boat. Nor do I recall ever reading it. And, that part about Jesus saying ‘no’? Well, it wasn’t until I looked the story up later that I even believed it.
Jesus said no.
Jesus, the same One who commanded that we love God first and others second, had a hand-picked inner circle of friends…even to the exclusion of others. He simply said no.
Honestly, I’m still chewing on this little nugget tucked in between the story of Jesus calming the storm and the healing of Jarius’ daughter. The only conclusion I have definitively come to is this….
we won’t all be best friends and Jesus made that okay.