Summary: Contrasting 3 responses to Jesus
3 Responses to Jesus Luke 8:26-39
Gladstone Baptist Church – 13/11/05 pm
Last Sunday morning, I preached on Jesus calming the storm. He had told his disciples he wanted to go across to the other side of Lake Galilee – a journey of about 10km. In the middle of the lake a storm sprang up and it was so fierce that the whole boat was in danger of being swamped and its passengers drowned. The Disciples were panic struck and thought that God had deserted them and Jesus certainly didn’t care whether they lived or died because he was asleep in the front of the boat. They woke Jesus and asked “What are you sleeping for – don’t you care that we are about to go to a watery grave?” Jesus looked at them, stood up and commanded the wind and waves to be still. And they were.
The sea went from a churning caldron to a mirror like surface and the disciples were amazed. Before them was a man who could command even the wind and waves to be still and have them obey him. The asked “Who is this guy?”
When we have a real encounter with Jesus, we can not help but be amazed at him. He is - after all - God with all his awesome power and might. Is it surprising that Jesus could calm these storms? No – not when you understand who he is.
The disciples asked “Who is this?” Was this question rhetorical? I don’t know. I would have thought by now that they should have known the answer to this question, but maybe they didn’t. Maybe they really were thick as bricks.
So they continue to head across the lake in quietness and contemplation. And finally they reach the other side. The only noise as they approach the shore is the quiet lapping of the water on the beach – a stark contrast from the crashing waves and howling winds of just an hour or so ago.
As Jesus stepped ashore, all of a sudden out of nowhere it happened …
Out of nowhere there was a piercing scream. And from who knows where a wounded, naked man ran towards Jesus. His hair was matted, his eyes were wide and wild. He lived out in the cemetery and in the wilderness. On his wrists and ankles were the remains of broken chains and ropes that had been previously used unsuccessfully to restrain him. He was covered in scars as Mark tells us he used to go around cutting himself with stones.
He ran up to them and threw himself at Jesus feet. – Scary!!!!
The poor disciples, I think one scary experience is enough for one day – don’t you. The bible doesn’t tell where they were, but me thinks that some of them had at that point hopped back in the boat and were way up the back of the boat wondering what on earth was going on.
Still on the ground before Jesus was this wild man who we find from the biblical accounts was demonized. If you have your bibles, open them up please to Luke 8:26
8:26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.