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Day 24: Tuesday, April 28

Matthew 8:23-34

As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And a great storm developed on the sea so that the waves began to swamp the boat. But he was asleep. So they came and woke him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die!” But he said to them, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it was dead calm. And the men were amazed and said, “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

When he came to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were extremely violent, so that no one was able to pass by that way. They cried out, “Son of God, leave us alone! Have you come here to torment us before the time?” A large herd of pigs was feeding some distance from them. Then the demons begged him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” And he said, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned in the water. The herdsmen ran off, went into the town, and told everything that had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.


The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® http://netbible.com copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

COMMENT & QUESTIONS

Unlike the Phoenicians in the North and the Egyptians in the South, the Jews were not a seafaring people (they would have felt right at home in Toowoomba!). In Jewish writing, they talked about the sea like it was a mysterious, threatening and wild place. How does this background help you understand the response of the disciples when Jesus calmed the sea before them?

The Jews believed that having power of the sea was a sign of ultimate authority. They had the story of Moses parting the Red Sea as a symbol in their history of God's strength and power. Now that they saw Jesus exert similar authority over the sea, they recognised the authority that Jesus had.


Jesus does an incredible miracle with the demon possessed men. So why do you think the entire town asked Jesus to leave? Why did they have such a negative response?

One thing that was clear from this miracle was that Jesus had a lot of power. This power was used for good, but it seems that the people of this region were more frightened than relieved. Similarly today, many people are not comforted by the power of God. Instead they want their lives to go on like normal without any interference from God.

Prayers

Pray for strength in our faith. Pray that we won’t be ‘cowardly’ and ‘people of little faith’.

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