Prayer: O Jesus, how great is your power to free me.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples as he frees the two possessed men.)
Matthew takes this story from Mark’s gospel (5:1-20) but he shortens Mark’s story. In doing so, he highlights Jesus’ power. Unfortunately, the people ask him to leave.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
As Jesus approached the Gadarene boundary, two men possessed by demons came out of the tombs. They were so fierce that no one could walk that road. They cried out, “What have we to do with you, Jesus, Son of God. Are you here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a large herd of swine was feeding. The devils asked him, “If you expel us, send us into this herd of swine.” He said, ‘Out with you.” They came out and entered the swine. The whole herd rushed down the hill into the sea and they were drowned.
The swineherds fled into the city and told everything that had happened concerning the possessed men. The whole city went out to meet Jesus. When they saw him they asked him to depart from their city.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- The demons love death and they lead possessed people to seek refuge among the tombs.
- Jesus changed that. Cemeteries are no longer a place of death. They are a place of sleeping where the dead await their rising.
- The two men possess the fierce, destructive powers of the demons, chasing others away.
- The demons know that Jesus’ power will chase them away.
- The time of their ouster is at hand. They thought they had a permanent place of rest.
- With one phrase, Jesus expels them and frees the two men.
- Their destructive forces turn against the swine. They die in the sea which Jesus has just calmed. (He has power there, also).
- The people make a terrible decision. They ask Jesus to leave. How many more miracles he would have done!
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you have conquered death. I no longer fear the tomb.
- All is changed. I will sleep in peace, waiting for you to say, “Arise”.
- O Jesus, cast out all destructive forces in my life.
- You have greater power. You are the victor and I am your spoils.
- You shorten the time. You come for me early. Come, Lord Jesus.
- Free me, Jesus, like you freed these two men.
- Stay in my life and be King of my soul.
Resolutions: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- I will stay away from all demonic powers.
- I will invite Jesus to stay with me.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
They asked him to leave their city.