Waves of Fear

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Waves of Fear
Text: Luke 8:26-39
Occasion: General
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Fear
Author: Brian M


Direction

We are not alone, the demons are, only fear can stop us

How to Get There

  • Jesus came across the sea during the night, in the middle of a storm. He probably barely slept, and when he did a miracle to avoid sinking it terrified those who were supposed to know him the best.
  • And then they got to land. Immediately a crazy man came up, one whom Matthew (8:28, though Matthew talks about two) mentions as being so violent and dangerous that no one could come near.
  • The crazy man literally lunges at Jesus, and the disciples have vanished. They don't even get mentioned from there on out, they're gone.
  • Jesus was attacked, misunderstood, in danger, and mentally if not possibly physically alone. This was a very bad day.
  • And it kept getting worse. In a day when people thought names gave you power over something, the man knew Jesus' name and his title. He was claiming power over Jesus, and at the same time refused to tell Jesus what his name was. Instead, the demons only threatened Jesus by claiming to be an entire army.
  • Exhausted, frustrated, misunderstood, threatened, I don't think this was a moment Jesus was looking forward to.
  • Jesus tells the demons to come out and they refuse. This is the only time in the Bible where Jesus is refused like that. It was a challenge, and a powerful one, issued by demons who claimed to number in the thousands.
  • Imagine what you would be thinking about here. Talk about tettor, utter terror.
  • Jesus was God, but Jesus was also human, and this experience would have been overwhelming for anyone. The problem seemed impossible to beat.
  • We're there a lot, aren't we. Even small issues can seem to be too much, let alone something like this.
  • We have legions of problems around us, legions of demons and evil in this world.
  • And too often we let those legions stop us out of fear. Fear can paralyze us. It calls to us by name, claims to know us, that we are powerless in the face of evil's army.
  • Jeus almost certainly felt that too. But Jesus pressed on and won victory through that fear.
  • And Jesus promises us in John 14:12 that we will do what he does and even greateer things.
  • But we are not alone. Every terror against us tries to convince us we're all by ourselves, abandoned. Bit we are not. There are 2.1 billion other people serving God with you. And God says each of us can do what Jesus did and more.
  • That includes standing up against the evil in front of us.
  • It isn't a thousand to one anymore. There are not hundreds of even millions, but billions of believers. And the ONE that we each have with us was enough for an army all by himself.
  • We are not alone and outnumbered, they are. We are the terror in evil's face and the only thing that can stop us is... us.
  • the only thing that is stopping us from taking the evils of this world to task is our fears. There are a thousand wrongs all around us. and it seems we are all alone, but we're not.
  • Nelson Mandela once said "I learned that courage was not the absence of dear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
  • We are not alone. They are. And with Christ by our sides we do not have to be afraid, evil does.

Things to Watch For

  • There is a great deal of background, historical and theological, to this story. This is a fight that goes back and forth several times with the demons and Jesus trying to win out over the other. Make sure to do enough research to know what was going on and why.
  • This message can easily become purely wishy-washy or all about demonology. It doesn't have to be either, but we have to be careful for that to happen. We can acknowledge that there is true evil and even demons without making every problems against us Satan inspired.
  • The original idea for this message was inspired by a passage in Here if you Need Me by Kate Braestrup.
  • One good example of an impossible struggle, legions against you, is Nelson Mandela and Apartheid in South Africa. He said "it always seems impossible until it's done."

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This Message is part 10 of Luke: Advent to Easter message series.