Picking up the Cross and Following Jesus

Earlier this week, the BBC reported that nearly 6,000 dead pigs were pulled from Shanghai’s Huangpu River on Tuesday. How they got there has not been determined. This reminds me of a passage in Mark 5. In this story, Jesus casts out a legion of demons, and they beg him not to banish them from the region. Jesus acquiesces and sends them into some nearby pigs who stampede into the lake and drown. The Bible reports the number of pigs was approximately 2,000. Of course, the pig farmers were not happy as they lost their herds, and they asked Jesus to leave.

This passage challenges me to think of how often I miss the big picture and, instead, focus on how God’s acts affect me personally. Is it possible that something that has an adverse affect on me might be beneficial to others? Am I willing to make that sacrifice? Is that what picking up the cross and following Jesus is about?

Associate Pastor Emeritus, Greg Zehner