SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
4:26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who spreads seed on the ground. 27 He goes to sleep and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 By itself the soil produces a crop, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 And when the grain is ripe, he sends in the sickle because the harvest has come.”
30 He also asked, “To what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to present it? 31 It is like a mustard seed that when sown in the ground, even though it is the smallest of all the seeds in the ground— 32 when it is sown, it grows up, becomes the greatest of all garden plants, and grows large branches so that the wild birds can nest in its shade.”
33 So with many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable. But privately he explained everything to his own disciples.
35 On that day, when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go across to the other side of the lake.” 36 So after leaving the crowd, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat, and other boats were with him. 37 Now a great windstorm developed and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was nearly swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. They woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?” 39 So he got up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Be quiet! Calm down!” Then the wind stopped, and it was dead calm. 40 And he said to them, “Why are you cowardly? Do you still not have faith?” 41 They were overwhelmed by fear and said to one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!”
5:1 So they came to the other side of the lake, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 Just as Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came from the tombs and met him. 3 He lived among the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For his hands and feet had often been bound with chains and shackles, but he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him. 7 Then he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God—do not torment me!” 8 (For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”) 9 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 He begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 11 There on the hillside, a great herd of pigs was feeding. 12 And the demonic spirits begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” 13 Jesus gave them permission. So the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake, and about 2,000 were drowned in the lake.
14 Now the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed, and in his right mind—the one who had the “Legion”—and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon-possessed asked if he could go with him. 19 But Jesus did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” 20 So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and all were amazed.