A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept them…
On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for Him. Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, plead with Him to come home with Him. Luke 8:35-41 NLT
I am struck by this contrast on the two different sides of the lake. On one side, Jesus did something huge, setting a man free from a legion of demons. Everyone in town knew him as the crazy man in the caves, who probably screamed out at night and scared the kids. Now he’s clothed and in his right mind and Jesus did it. Yet they begged Him to leave because they were afraid.
Hebrews 3:12-15 warns us about not having the same reaction: Take care lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin…Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.
Waiting for Jesus on the other side of the lake were people who needed healing, people with faith, with a welcoming heart and open arms. One lady knew if she could just get through the crowd and touch his robe she’d be healed. Jesus told her that her faith had healed her. The opposite of faith is fear. The thing that made the people drive Jesus away was fear across the lake.
One of the things that makes us drive Jesus away today is fear. When we say that Jesus doesn’t do miracles like that today, or that He can’t fix this or fix that…or whatever it is that makes us not come to Him in prayer believing that He can impact a situation–part of our unbelief is mixed with fear. When the disciples called out to Jesus in the boat and said, “Don’t you care if we drown?” it was fear. He rebuked them for their lack of faith.
In 2 Timothy 3 when it says that we will have a from of godliness but deny God’s power, is it fear that makes us comfortable with a lack of power? We are comfortable with our own power, rather than relying on the Holy Spirit, because maybe we’re afraid of where God is going to take us, or what He’s going to demand of us, or who He’s going to ask us to love…So we stick to a less-than power out of fear.
Or, as Hebrews 3 calls it, “an unbelieving heart–an evil, unbelieving heart.” And that heart condition causes us to fall away from the living God.
Which side of the lake do you live on?
This link if my graphic. It is an infographic and it can’t be loaded on this page. Please click it, and then pray about the answer to my question.