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PIGGING OUT





A number of years ago I made a New Year's resolution that I still keep, namely reading a chapter a day from the New Testament. So I recently got to Mark chapter 5, where Jesus cures the man possessed by demons (Legion). He does so by allowing the demons to go into a herd of 2,000 swine, who in turn rush down a steep bank into the sea and are drowned.

        


This got me thinking: what did Jesus have against pigs? If I were the swine herder, I'd be kind of miffed, to say nothing of what this must have done to the pork belly futures market. Seriously, it sounds sort of...un-Christlike. It's not like Jesus had anything against animals (He is the Good Shepherd, after all).

      

Sure, to some, pigs are disgusting creatures, but then again, didn't Jesus ever see Porky?

      

Yes, in the Jewish faith in which Jesus was raised, eating pork was forbidden. However, killing 2,000 of them seems an extreme way of saying, "I'll have the vegan option."

      

It could be Jesus was saying humans were preeminent in God's creation and saving the possessed man took precedence, or that He was abiding Judaic law wherein pigs are unclean, or even that He wanted a visual manifestation of God's power. It's a conundrum, albeit one that does keep me pondering scripture, so there is that as an end in itself. I'd go on, but Grace just told me breakfast is ready, and I love nothing better than tucking into some crispy slabs of bacon.

 

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