What if you showed up one afternoon in a new town and immediately solved one of its biggest problems? And then, instead of thanks and a key to the city, the townspeople were scared and they begged you to please leave RIGHT NOW! Not a great welcome you say?
Once when Jesus crossed into the country of the Gerasenes he had such an incident. He found a man possessed by many demons. “He was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard; and yet he would burst his fetters and be driven by the demon into the desert.” (Luke 8:29) Jesus freed him completely. Now the town would no longer have to guard the man and they most certainly would feel safer in their city.
Rather than throw a party for him they were terrified and asked Jesus to leave. He complied but he had mercy on them even as he left. The formerly demon possessed man was the only one grateful and “was begging Him that he might accompany Him.” (Verse 38) But Jesus said no and asked the man to stay. “‘Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.'”
Why did he do that rather than take the man with him? Maybe they rejected him, but he knew they still needed the kingdom of God. That was most important. The man could stay and testify of God’s goodness until some were won over.
If you are ever tempted to take offense when someone rejects your efforts to share Christ with them, think of this story. They still need the kingdom of God and it might be someone who comes after you that wins them. Remember, that is what’s most important.