Friday, May 21, 2010

May 22, Saturday Devotion

May 22, Saturday Devotion
Matthew 8:18-34
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 21 Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
    23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. 27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” 
    28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area. 29 They began screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” 30 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. 31 So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. 33 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.
Quick Notes/Questions
Yesterday's passage has Jesus healing everyone.  Today's has Jesus being a troublemaker of sorts.  First, several people tell him they will eventually follow him, but he rebuffs them saying to follow now.  Then he scares the disciples with him by calming the lake.  The word amazed could easily be substituted with bewildered.  Finally, Jesus heals two demon possessed men by sending the demons into a heard of pigs that immediately kill themselves.  How is this trouble?  Good Jews were to have no contact with pigs.  This is why the passage ends with the people begging Jesus to go away.  What things in our lives keep us from welcoming Jesus' presence?  Following?  Fear?  Obeying?Quick Prayer
O God, thank you for being a troublemaker of love.  Any 'trouble' you cause is to help the world and I welcome all of your 'troublemaking' ways.  Amen.

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