Jesus’ Story – Day 18

March 7, Saturday

Calming StormHaving concluded the stories for the present, they departed. It had been a long day dealing with the crowds, so Jesus told His disciples they were going to take a boat across to the other side of Galilee. While the men worked the sails, Jesus slept. It wasn’t long before a windstorm kicked up and began churning the waves so violently that the small vessel began to fill with water. The disciples who recognized the danger were frantic, but Jesus slept soundly at the back of the boat.

Finally, one of them, yelling over the sound of the storm, woke Jesus, saying, “Lord, help us! We’re about to go under! How can You sleep at a time like this?”

Jesus, unflustered, replied, “Why are you so worked up? Do you not believe Who I am?”

Jesus stood up and told the wind and waves to settle down. Everything became completely still. “Like I said, fellows, did you forget Who was with you in the storm? If you believe, you won’t fear.”

The men, who had weathered their share of storms in the past, couldn’t believe what they’d just seen. After Jesus went back to lie down, they kept asking one another, “Who is this man? How did He do that? How did He get the weather to obey Him instantly?”

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No sooner had they landed on the other side in the Gadarene district, than they saw two wildly possessed men coming toward them. One of them was naked and covered in scars. Townsfolk had tried to subdue him with chains and shackles, but he always broke them to pieces.  He spent his life, day and night, wandering through the hills and cemeteries, screaming and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus, he ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. The demon-spirit cried out from inside the man, “Why have You come here, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Are You here to torment us before our time?”

Jesus asked the demon his name, to which it replied, “Legion, because there’s a swarm of us in here. Please don’t destroy us! If You have to throw us out of this man, let us go into those pigs over there. Please don’t send us to our doom yet.”

Jesus commanded them to go then to the pigs, a herd of about 2,000. The pigs went crazy and ended up running en masse right down into the lake where they drowned.  The disciples gave the man some clothes and he sat with them, having become perfectly sane.

You’d think the whole countryside would have been relieved; but instead, they came out to where Jesus was and pleaded with Him to leave, afraid of what else He might do. So Jesus and His disciples returned to the boat.  The man who had been delivered from the demons begged to go along. “No,” Jesus told him, “you go back home now and tell your friends how the Lord God has demonstrated His love for you. Explain everything.” And he did, sharing his testimony throughout the entire district.

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They got back in the boat and headed across to another town. As you might imagine, a crowd gathered quickly, among them one of the leading men of the synagogue whose name was Jairus. He was desperate to see Jesus and fell down before Him, saying, “It’s my daughter. She’s on the verge of death. If You would come and touch her, I know she would be well again.” (The girl was twelve years old.)

Jesus went with him as did the disciples and the throngs of people. In the crowd was a woman who for twelve years had suffered hemorrhaging, a condition the doctors couldn’t remedy. She had spent her life-savings and was only getting worse. “If only I could touch that Man’s robe,” she thought, “I’m sure I’d be healed.” So she pushed her way through the multitude and came up behind Him, getting just close enough to touch His garment. Immediately she could feel that her body had changed, had been restored to health.

At the same time Jesus perceived that power had gone out of Him; so He turned around and asked, “Who just touched Me?” No one said anything.

Then the disciples said, rather incredulously, “Who touched You? With the crowd pressing on us like this, you ask who touched You?”

But Jesus persisted, “Someone touched Me; I know it. I felt the energy flowing out of Me.”

Then He saw her. And she knew that He knew. Shaking with fear, she fell down in front of Him and poured out her story. He pulled her to her feet and said, “It’s all right. You believed and now you’re well. Go. Enjoy. Your troubles are over.” And she went her way, a happy woman.

In the time it took for this interruption, Jairus’ daughter had died. Someone came to notify him of his daughter’s death and to let them know there was no point in troubling Jesus.  It was too late now. Jesus, however, having heard the report, encouraged Jairus not to give up, saying, “Trust Me, she will be healed.”

As they arrived at the home, the mourners had already begun their clamorous lament with flutes and wailing moans. Jesus stopped them, saying, “What’s all this commotion? The girl isn’t dead; she’s just sleeping. Instantly the crowd laughed at Him as though He were crazy. They knew she was dead.

Jesus took three of His disciples, Peter, James and John, and the girl’s parents into the room where she was lying. He made everyone else leave the room.  Going over to the girl, He took her hand. With two words, “Talitha cumi!” (which means, “Little girl, arise!”), He changed everything. She sat up and looked around, got up and started walking, and asked for something to eat. Her parents were beside themselves with relief and joy. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about what had happened.  But how could a miracle like this be kept secret? Before long everyone knew about it.

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