No one sets out to be a crazy homeless person possessed by demons. Who was this man when he was a boy? What was his childhood like? When did it start to go wrong? Did he have any brothers or sisters? Did he choose unwise friends? Perhaps it was drugs. I have to believe there was a time when he enjoyed going to the beach with his parents, enjoying the sun, laughing with his friends. These days he spends his time in graveyards, howling at the moon like the lone wolf he is. Except, he isn’t really alone is he? A Legion of demons to keep him company, he uses sharp stones to try and cut out the pain.
When people look at him, they see a man without hope. A man who belongs to the outer rim of society. The kind of man you tell your children to stay away from. They do of course, but that doesn’t stop them from telling scary stories of the man who roams the streets at night. No one would go out of their way to approach this man. No one would entrust this man with any matter of importance. I wonder if anyone even knew is name.
One day Jesus said to invited his disciples to cross the lake. Jesus had a God-given appointment with the man who didn’t matter. He had to get to the other side of the lake where he was. No matter the storm that threatened to destroy the boat, filling his disciples with fear. He had to get there. I wonder if Jesus told his disciples about the man he was going to see. I suspect not. I try to imagine the disciples’ reactions as they are getting off the boat and they see this strange man slinking toward them, scars covering his skin, eyes crazy, and fixed on Jesus, the eyes of the messiah fixed on him.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- Think about any strange people in your life, at your school. What do you think they have been through?
- Just like Jesus crossed the storm to get to this crazy man, He crosse the chasm of heaven to earth so He could die for you. Take a moment and be grateful for God’s love for you.
PRAY: Lord, give me compassion for those who seem different and so often don’t seem to matter.
Mark 4:35-41 (NLT) As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Mark 5:1-5 (NLT) So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes.[a]2 When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil[b] spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4 Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
Psalm 139:1-18 (TPT)
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
5 You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.[a]
With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a blessing to me.
6 This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.[b]
7 Where could I go from your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from your face?
8 If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
9 If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting![c]
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
your strength will empower me.
11 It’s impossible to disappear from you
or to ask the darkness to hide me,
for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.
The night, to you, is as bright as the day;
there’s no difference between the two.
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.[d]
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
when you created me in the secret place,[e]
carefully, skillfully shaping me[f] from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me![g]
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.[h]
17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me!
How precious and wonderful to consider
that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
O God, your desires toward me are more
than the grains of sand on every shore!
When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.