Fear is an emotion which is present in our gospel lesson this Sunday. Jesus performs a healing miracle, driving demons out of a man. In the events that follow the people that witnessed the healing are fearful of Jesus and they ask him to leave. It is a striking image, their fear and their response to it.
Of course this is not the first time that Jesus is asked to leave. When he returned home to Nazareth many people had problems believing who he was. It got so bad there that they drove him out of town with the hope of hurling him off a cliff.
It seems that to some the message that Jesus brings is deeply challenging. What is it about the Good News that fills peoples hearts with fear? Jesus came to heal, to teach and to love. Ultimately, Jesus forgave humanity and died to restore us to proper relationship with God. Along the way Jesus challenges our ideas and the status quo. It is perhaps a little unsettling, but it leaves us with the question what are we afraid the gospel will do to us?
Text: Luke 8: 26-39
Questions for Sunday
- Why were the swineherds and others afraid?
- What can we learn about the message of the gospel from this passage?
- How does this passage challenge our own living?
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Father, I confess that often I am comfortable. That in my comfort I do not wish to help others or make changes. I fear a loss of status, income and privilege and admit that I do not want to lose these things. Help me to overcome my fear and recognize that you are calling me to something new. In Jesus name, Amen.