ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 278


ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time
has come.”
Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should
I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is
the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it
grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”
Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as
much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never
taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his
disciples, he explained everything to them.
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of
the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds
behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up.
High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
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?”
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.
Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked
each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes.
When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came
out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and
could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 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. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills,
howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet
him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are
you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of
God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit,
“Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”
Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”
And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside
this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send
them to some distant place.

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