Jesus frees a demon-possessed man
26 Jesus and his disciples sailed to the Gerasenes’ land, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a certain man met him. The man was from the city and was possessed by demons. For a long time, he had lived among the tombs, naked and homeless. 28 When he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down before him. Then he shouted, “ What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me! ” 29 He said this because Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had taken possession of him, so he would be bound with leg irons and chains and placed under guard. But he would break his restraints, and the demon would force him into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, “ What is your name? ”
“ Legion, ” he replied, because many demons had entered him. 31 They pleaded with him not to order them to go back into the abyss.t32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, 33 and the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who tended the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and told the story in the city and in the countryside. 35 People came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully dressed and completely sane. They were filled with awe. 36 Those people who had actually seen what had happened told them how the demon-possessed man had been delivered. 37 Then everyone gathered from the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave their area because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and returned across the lake. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged to come along with Jesus as one of his disciples. Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “ Return home and tell the story of what God has done for you. ” So he went throughout the city proclaiming what Jesus had done for him.
When Did Your Faith Story Begin?
In this book popular author J. Ellsworth Kalas reflects on the tenth year of his life, and how that one special year shaped him and his Christian faith in so many important ways. He shares stories about what it was like growing up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression, and he remembers the people, places, and events of those times that continue to have an impact on his life to this day.
The author invites readers to think about their own life journeys and faith stories at the same time, and he explores several key themes, including the importance of connecting with your past, salvation, hearing God’s call, living life with urgency, self-worth, investing and giving wisely, discovering the richness of the Bible, having confidence in God’s promise, and looking back over your life to make sense of all the lessons you have learned. The book includes a discussion guide.
J. ELLSWORTH KALAS has been part of the faculty at Asbury Theological Seminary since 1993, after thirty-eight years as a United Methodist pastor and five years in evangelism with the World Methodist Council. He has been a presenter on Disciple videos, is the author of the Christian Believer study, and has written more than thirty books, including the popular “Back Side” series, The Thirteen Apostles, and Longing to Pray: How the Psalms Teach Us to Talk with God.