(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(5) Jesus Calms The Storm On The Lake
“Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”
The storm broke “Without warning” and “they were in great danger” but “Jesus was sleeping”. Most of life’s difficulties and problems often come without warning, and God allows these to come upon us to test our faith in Him – “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” . During these periods of our life it often seems as if God is not aware of our trials, it seems as if He is asleep, but He is the God of all knowledge and knows and feels what we are experiencing, and has the power to deliver us from danger and trial . The disciples were now aware that Jesus not only had power over sickness and diseases but also over the power of nature itself – “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” .
(6) Jesus Heals The Demoniac
“The name of the place where the miracle was done is disputed, possibly due to the difference in the names as recorded by Matthew (Gadarenes) as compared to Mark and Luke (Gerasenes). The textual variants arose because Gerasa (the capital city), located about thirty miles southeast of the lake, seemed too far removed. However, Mark says the “region” of the Gerasenes, and this apparently included the entire district extending down from the city to the lake”(Expositor’s Bible Commentary).
The other dispute arises from Matthew’s account where it is recorded that there were two Demoniacs, while Mark and Luke speak of only one. “Such seeming discrepancies might indicate that they were actually two different occasions, or that one writer gave a fuller account than the others” (Believers Bible Commentary).
Jesus had just confirmed His power over nature by stilling the storm on the Lake, now He is about to show His power over the devil and possession by evil spirits. The Demoniac(s) had been chained to the tombs because of their violent outbursts and the fact that they were unable to be controlled; “Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.” .
The work of the devil and his demons is to bind mankind under the curse of sin, and we are unable to deliver ourselves from such bondage, only the work of God through the Holy Spirit can accomplish such a deliverance, thus Jesus had to demonstrate this power in casting the demon(s) out of the individual(s) . The healing of the Demoniac(s) drew the protest of the people of the area, as they seemed to place more value on their pigs than on the life of the man/men possessed by the evil spirits. First, we should understand that Jesus gave the evil spirits “permission”to enter the pigs; far better than allowing them to roam and enter another human being. Second, God values the life of an individual to be more than that of the pigs that the Jews were forbidden to keep or to eat (there is indication, however, that this was a predominant Gentile area, hence the pigs; nevertheless, the soul of mankind is more valuable than pigs) so they come to “plead with Jesus to leave their region” .
“When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” ; when God delivers sinners from the bondage of sin, we are clothed in the garments of salvation and our minds are cleansed from the evil thoughts and ways of our past life. Such was the case of the Demoniac(s):
Compare Matt. 26:74 with Acts 5:15
“ Lk. 9:53-54 “ 1 Jn. 4:7
“ Jn. 4:17-18 “ Jn. 4:29
“ Acts 9:1a “ Acts 21:13
“ Acts 16:24 “ Acts 16:33
Both Mark and Luke record that Jesus sent the man home to his family to tell them “how much God has done for you” – this is the only recorded incident where Jesus instructs anyone who He has healed to go and tell of the experience, this, no doubt, was so because this was a Gentile region and there was little chance of any Jewish influence.
(7) Jesus’ Second Rejection At Nazareth
“Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.”
Both Mark and Matthew inform us of the members of Jesus’ siblings, although they were all half-brothers and sisters, as they were born to Joseph and Mary after the miraculous birth of Jesus – the names of His brothers are recorded but His sisters are not named, referred to as “all his sisters” . Many of the people, and possibly His siblings, could not understand why Jesus was different to the rest of His family members, considering the fact that he was only a carpenter Himself “What’s this wisdom that has been given him…” so they were offended at Him, bringing about the response from Jesus “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor” . As a result of their lack of faith, Jesus was unable to do many miracles in their town .