We are very familiar with the story of Jesus calming the storm with mere words after being summoned from sleep. We have heard many sermons on this very passage to teach us how important our faith in Jesus must be as we grow and mature in our walk with Him. Fear is a factor, too and we learn that faith and love trump fear and put anxieties to rest.
This story is yet another miraculous encounter showing the glory of God, who gave Jesus the authority and control of roaring waves and deep waters. The disciples are in awe. “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
But today, instead of writing about what I’ve heard about the storms of life that grow my faith, I decided to keep reading about what happened next, after Jesus and the disciples landed on the other side of the lake.
Jesus is immediately met by evil, his arch enemy, dwelling in the lives of two men. The men were so controlled and possessed by evil, they were no longer their God created selves. But, get this, while Jesus’ followers are still trying to figure Him out, evil knew EXACTLY who Jesus was and is. The disciples, those closest to Him, following Him wherever He leads them, watching Him perform miracle after miracle ask, “What kind of man is this?”
But Evil address Jesus as “Son of God”. Evil knows Jesus is in charge. Evil knows Jesus is God come down from heaven, the very place the fallen angel was kicked out of and removed forever. They know Jesus as Son of God, but evil’s demons keep trying to be in control of mankind.
However, when face to face with Jesus, evil concedes to Jesus and screams, “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” They even know that a battle will occur when Jesus goes to battle for us and will claim victory over sin and death forever. Do they know they will lose?
Do we believe what we believe is really real?
Do we know, without a doubt, who the One in charge really is?
When faced with storms to we cower in fear or run to Jesus?
AND here’s the big question, do we let evil control our thoughts which guide us to self-satisfaction, instant gratification, paranoia, while possessing us with pride, lust, and other desires of our sin nature?
The demon possessed men where mean and violent, bound by the chains of evil’s hold on them. Jesus set the men free by sending evil packing.
Who’s in charge? Jesus. Always.
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed Men
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
Here lies the difference between being bound by our sin nature which leads to destruction and ultimately death versus living freely with Jesus, learning to love, walk humbly, be at peace no matter what, while receiving grace upon undeserved grace and mercy which leads to life and more life forever!
Are we ready to trade anxieties, fear, guilt, possession by evil for life with Jesus. Need help? We cannot transform without help and Jesus knew that. The demon possessed men needed Jesus to set them free. We need Jesus to forgive us and set us free, too. When we do, we get help. When Jesus left earth, He gave us His Holy Spirit to come and live in us to guide us and grow us to remain free.
Paul explains this transformation through the work of the Holy Spirit well to the church in Galatia and to us:
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:16-17
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
LEAVE EVIL POSSESSION TO FOLLOW JESUS
We can cry out for demons to leave in Jesus Name and He will send them packing!
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:24-26
One choice leads to misery, bondage, severed relationships with God and others then ultimately death.
One choice leads to life and more life! Life with Jesus means living free and expectantly with Him, walking with Him in His ways, growing in our faith that drives out all fear, learning to love like He loves, realizing the depth of His love for us, knowing we are loved unconditionally forever. Yes, storms will come and go, but Jesus’ power lives in us to overcome. Jesus’ Holy Spirit will be with us through it all. We have an intimate relationship with God our Creator through Jesus, His Son.
WHO is this man? Jesus, Son of God.
WHO’S in charge? Jesus, Son of God.
Choose now. Choose Life.
Dear Lord and Savior,
You are God and we are not, so we bow down to You alone. We repent of going our own way, trying to do life on our own. Show us your will and purpose for our lives. Continue to transform us. Give us wisdom, insight and understanding for this day.
In Jesus Name, Amen