In the life as disciples of Christ, serving in obedience to Christ and growing in Christ, there will be storms to ride out and demonic forces to face. As Jesus’ disciples gathered as His church how do we deal with these things?
When it comes to ‘Storms’ in our life, it’s not a question of if they come, but rather when. It’s not a question of demonic forces, it’s a question of how many… this is a fallen world! Often, and especially in times like these, it is some of both!
This is the reality of our world; storms & demons…but take heart! Christ is there with us! In the Storm and as we deal with demonic activity. As His surrendered followers we can weather the storms & rebuke the demonic forces.
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
- Jesus had a reason to go across the lake (eternal purpose marked every move)
- Did he fall asleep on purpose?
- Were they in great danger or did Luke express the view of the disciples?
- Fear can create ‘alternate realities’ in our lives
24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
- They use the title ‘Master’ as in ‘Master Teacher’ NOT ‘Master of All Creation’
- They didn’t fully know who Jesus was at this point so they reacted in fear
- But Christ is there!
- If we don’t fully know Jesus, we too will be fearful in the storm
- When we give Him control of our lives (Discipleship) we see the storm differently
25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
- Who is your faith in? Who do you think is in control of your life & everything else?
- The combination of fear & amazement is a good learning environment
- His control has been demonstrated, yet they are slow to understand (Like US!)
The Storm is a metaphor for the danger we face in this fallen world, our world. What makes this a dangerous and fallen world is the presence of sin & demons. 1/3 of the Angels created followed Lucifer in his attempted ‘Coup’ & became demons.
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.
- He is met…this was a ‘prearranged’ meeting. Are there any coincidences?
- Christ is there with THIS guy and with everyone dealing with the demonic activity
- This is someone we would call ‘Mentally Ill’…
- Not all mental illness caused directly by demons
- Then and even now, there is not much that humans can do for such people
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 impure spirit to come out of the man.
- His recognition of Jesus was intense! He knows His ‘Name’
- Demonic forces are subject to Christ, yet still totally rebellious
- Jesus made it clear they were being cast out of the man and so negotiations start
- Demons displays they believe lies about Jesus / God (Judgement V Torture)
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 Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
- We get a description of how the demons possessed this man (they like to isolate)
- Demons look for the opportunity to be of greater strength
- Humans empower their activity by being deceived and giving them place
- They traffic in lies (followers of ‘The Father of Lies’)
- They know their next destiny is to be locked in the Abyss
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, 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.
- Places where pigs were kept were symbolic for places where God is not honored
- (The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15)
- The demons choose the pigs, or do they? They had to have Jesus permission
- Not a good choice to destroy their host, the pigs…
- Without a ‘Host’ the demons scatter (Jesus allows them to stay in the world)
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.
- The pig herders lose their whole herd…and freak out!
- When everyone came to see what happened they found the ‘Freed Man’
- Seeing the massive change in the man scares them
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.
- The locals are more concerned with keeping the status quo than God’s work
- Jesus Christ will not force Himself on anyone (The Ultimate Gentleman)
- Fear kept them from seeing that God himself was there
- Fear can overcome people and make them do stupid things (Tell God to Leave)
- Even when Christ is shown to be a savior, there will be people who fear change
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
- Like the women who had been delivered this man wanted to go with Jesus
- Jesus specifically wanted this man to be a ‘witness’ among his own people
- This guy didn’t get the job he wanted but he did what Jesus asked HIM to do
- I hope we can be grateful for what Christ has done in our lives & be content
The Storm can be something that causes us to fear and react irrationally. The Storm can also be a means by which we learn who Jesus Christ truly is. The battle we fight to keep from being influenced & impacted by Demonic Forces is our Biblical reality. The ‘Good News’ is: Christ is there with you! He wants to empower you to overcome. As a disciple are you ready? How strong is your faith in Christ and His power over demons?
What things right now are making you feel like you are going to drown? (Talking with someone you trust about these things helps)
Jesus asks His disciples: “Where is Your Faith”? Answer that as specifically as you can. (Why is your faith in Jesus? How did you get to that place?)
What do you know about demons based on Scripture? (Knowing your enemy)
How can you leverage Christ’s power over demons as His Spirit-Indwelt follower? ( Biblical Understanding / Seasoned Guides / Faith Based on Experience )
How can you grow to trust Christ more in life’s storms and during demonic activity? (Taking Ownership of Your Discipleship)