Power

“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. The demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go!” So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, the begged him to leave their neighborhood. And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town.”

Matthew 8:23-9:1

Jesus calming the storm is powerful in two main ways. First, He slept through the storm. The storm was so big that the boat was filling with water and sinking, yet Jesus was so unafraid that He was able to sleep. He trusted absolutely that God would take Him safely through the storm. He sets the perfect example of how we should trust God. Second, it is so awe inspiring that He could just stop a storm like that. It He has that much power, taking care of us is going to be no problem for Him. He’ll keep us safe, just like He kept the disciples on the boat safe.

I can’t figure out the Gadarene demons. What does this story mean? On the one hand, it shows that Jesus has power over demons. He’s displayed His power over men, the weather, and now demons. On the other hand, the demons recognize Him and call Him the “Son of God.” They’re the first person aside from God Himself and the Devil to do so. Even Jesus hasn’t said so yet. But then on the other hand, Jesus seems to show the demons mercy by allowing them to enter in to the pigs and die. Or maybe He just wanted them gone. And finally, the townspeople ask Him to leave. Why? Are they afraid of Him? Of more demons? Jesus hasn’t really made any enemies yet, and surely they must have seen how He helped them… But then He DID hurt the pigs…

Possibly this is foreshadowing of Jesus’s rejection and death. Or it might be a way of showing how people who value the wrong things (their pigs over their savior, for example) can be led to reject Christ. You can’t serve two masters…

[Edit: I finally understand a bit of what I didn’t before. Read here]

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One Response to Power

  1. Pingback: How To: Respond to Fear | Understanding the New Testament

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