Day 29 | It Is I, Be Not Afraid

August 31, 2015 - WEEK FIVE

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Christ in the Storm, {Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


Matthew 8:23-34
Mark 4:35-41, 5:1-20
Luke 8:19-39
John 6:15-21

For Younger Disciples


  • Are there people among us today with unclean spirits? How can they be cleansed?
  • Why did the local people ask Jesus to “depart out of their coasts”?
  • What storms inside and around you need to be calmed?
  • In John’s record of the storm, once Jesus entered the ship, the travelers were immediately at their destination. How can this example of grace apply to the storms we face?


The end result for the herd of swine was that they charged down a steep hill and plunged into the sea and drowned. Why, one might ask, would Jesus permit innocent pigs to be attacked by evil spirits and killed?…

In the biblical text, water carries both the connotation of cleansing and also of chaos. ‘The sea,’ The New Jerome Biblical Commentary informs us, is ‘a common symbol for chaos and death.’ Similarly, one biblical scholar indicated that there is a likely correlation between the calming of the sea and the healing of the man possessed by many demons. ‘If a raging sea is a threat, demonic force is much worse’ (Walter L. Liefeld, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke, Vol. 8) The fact that these swine drown as they rush headlong into the sea discloses the symbolic meaning of this action: chaos, spiritual death, and eventual damnation are the result of a spiritually feigned life.

The man who was originally possessed was freed from his spiritual illness through faith in the Son of God. Had he not made such a change, his fate would be that symbolized by the final action of the herd of swine. The destruction of the swine by their demonic captors was a type for the demons’ desire to destroy the soul of the very man they had previously possessed—indeed, their desire to destroy the souls of all men (Alonzo L. Gaskill, “Animals as Symbols,” The Lost Language of Symbolism, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003, 243–45).


Calming the Tempest


Jesus Commands the
Wind and the Waves


  • Have you ever been in a storm that scared you?
  • Why were the disciples so surprised about what Jesus did?


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