In Luke 8, a common theme we see is that we need to truly HEAR God. If we have ears to hear, let us hear. (v7) The parable of the soils is all about the different ways we HEAR. ”As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (v15) Here are verses 35-37:
Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.
Did the people of the region hear? Yes! They heard what Jesus had done. They heard an accurate report. They also saw with their eyes that the man who had been so troubled, and who had caused them so much trouble, was now in his right mind.
So what is their reaction? Thankfulness? Awe? Praise?
No. Jesus has disrupted their lives. After all, some pigs have died. So they tell Jesus, “Please leave us alone. Let us go back to normal and pretend this never happened. We like our lives very much the way they are, thank you.”
These people didn’t have any great riches or pleasures by our standards. Nevertheless, the pleasures of this life choked out the word of God. So they ask the incarnate word of God to leave. Jesus was with them – and they told Him, “Go away!”
Listen carefully: These people show that it is perfectly possible to be in Jesus presence, to hear His words, to witness a miracle – and walk away. They heard Him – yet didn’t hear. They saw Him – yet didn’t see.
The same holds today. You can be in church, you can sing worship songs, you can hear biblical preaching – and walk away, not hearing in your heart. You can see and yet not see; you can hear and yet not hear.
Take care how you hear! Let the word of God be implanted in you! Accept it with meekness! Acknowledge your sinfulness, your hard heart and your tendency to be hard of hearing!