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Discipled to Disciple

So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. - Mark 5:14-15

On the lake the disciples learned that Jesus was the God of the wind and the waves. Not only could he still the storm with His words but He could give peace to His own any time they would trust Him for it. They could know the peace of God even in the middle of the storm.

When they reached the other side, events took place that expand the lessons of peace. Peace is not just something Jesus’ followers ought to possess, it is also something they should offer others. As soon as they arrived in the region, a man came running up to Jesus who had been tormented by demons for a long time. He lived in the tombs screaming in anguish and cutting himself. The demons gave him supernatural strength so when the people of the region attempted to restrain him with chains, he would break them and escape. Behind the demons who tormented this poor man was Satan himself whose purpose is to “rob, kill and destroy.” He and his minions were doing just that to this man. They continue to do just that to this day in an infinite variety of effects.

Into this desperate situation stepped Jesus, the Lord of peace. We do not know why the man approached Jesus as He left the boat but we do know what he did. He bowed before Jesus in worship. Since this man was obviously possessed, he would not have been able to choose this on his own. As hard as it is to fathom, the demons within him, were forced by the authority of Christ in their presence to fall before Him. They knew who He was and they knew when He commanded them to leave their host, they would have to go.

Sometimes I think the devil and his demons know more about the Jesus who lives in us then we do. They know they cannot stand before Him; they know they must obey His voice. They know He has come to free the demon possessed and oppressed; they know He has the power to cast them into the pit or send them wherever He wants them to go. They know we have been sent to free sinners from their grip. We ought to know the same thing; but we don’t or if we do we fail to believe it and act on it.

Often we find ourselves terrified in the storm on the lake wondering why Jesus is asleep in the storm. We are struggling with our own worries, fears and doubts, when simple child-like faith would tell us to be at peace. Be at peace about your personal struggles because these are taken care of by the God who loves us and has the power to care for us.

As believers we are not here to take care of our own peace. Once we accept that this is God’s job and that He will do it, perfectly, we can begin to fulfill our real purpose: providing that peace to others. People of peace help others find peace. Jesus shows us that. The same man who slept on the cushion during the storm, stepped onto the shore in the Gadarenes and provided peace by freeing a man from Satan’s destructive power.

Though the disciples are not mentioned in the story; the application to them and to us is obvious. As believers we have been provided peace with God which leads to a life of peace, the peace of God. That life becomes the platform for approaching others in turmoil with that same peace. The demon possessed man is a perfect example. After he was delivered, clothed, in his right mind and at peace, he asked if he could join the group in the boat and stay with Jesus. Jesus would not permit it. Instead He told him "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." Ultimately God wants two things for us. He wants us to consistently live out the peace we have received by faith. Then, as people of peace, He wants us to share the message of peace we have found with others.

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