The Jews named the territory on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee the, “Far Country.” It was also called the “Decapolis,” which literally means “Ten Cities.” It was in this area that seven groups of pagan people chose to live. Jesus made some trips to the Decapolis in order to advance the kingdom of God. There he fed people, cast out demons (some into pigs), healed, and taught. He showed his disciples that even the “Gates of Hell” could not stop him.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the son insults his father, receives his inheritance, and goes to the “far country” and wastes what he has. The boy’s father watched and longed for his return. One day, the boy “wakes up” to the realization of how stupid he had been. With a penitent heart, he rises up to return to his father and beg his forgiveness. The father ran out to greet him, took him home, and started a great celebration.
It occurs to me that Jesus also went into another “far country.” No, he did not insult his Father and demand his inheritance. Rather, he went with pure motives. Instead of wasting what he had been given, we went to reclaim what was originally his.
In a way, our world is the far country. All manner of evil abounds here. All manner of wastefulness abides here. The Father sent his Son to reclaim our wasted lives. He longs to see us return; to run out to meet us; and start the grand celebration. In turn, God sends his son’s disciples into this “far country” to initiate the process for others.
Keep The Light Burning!