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.
For pure exhilaration and drama, there's nothing quite like sports: It's the crack of the bat as it connects with the baseball, hurtling it into the bleachers for a home run; the swish of the basketball as it drops into the net for a three-point play at the buzzer; the roar of the crowd as the quarterback delivers a perfect spiral pass for the winning touchdown. Most importantly, sports bring out the best in the human spirit. There is an intensity and a richness inherent in every sporting experience that amplifies our emotions and our connection with the moment and, indeed, with ourselves.
This latest collection of Chicken Soup honors all that is good in the world of sports. From major leaguers to little leaguers, from hockey stars to figure skaters, and from horseracing to mushing, the stories in this book highlight the positive and transformative nature of sports. Readers will come to see sports as one of our most important and powerful teachers. They can teach us to focus and stay the course, or to develop a new strategy and rededicate ourselves to a goal. They can teach us to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. They can teach us the importance of teamwork and remind us that we must strive to give our individual all. At their best, sports will build us up and they will wear us down; they will build character and teach us to overcome adversity. This book is for anyone who has ever enjoyed watching or participating in any sport, from the professional athlete to the weekend warrior, from the soccer mom to the diehard sports fan, from the marathon runner to the neighborhood jogger.