Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

"Peace, Be Still"

Matthew viii: 18 to 34; Mark iv: 35, to v: 21; Luke viii: 22 to 40.

dropcap image HEN the evening came, after teaching all day by the sea and in the house, Jesus saw that the crowds of people were still pressing around him, and there was no time for him to rest. Jesus said, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake."

So they took Jesus into the boat, and began to row across the Sea of Galilee. Other little boats were with them, for many wished to go with Jesus. While they were rowing, Jesus fell asleep, resting on a cushion of the boat. Suddenly a storm arose, and drove great waves of water into the boat, so that it was in danger of sinking, but Jesus slept on. The disciples awoke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are lost! Help us, or we shall perish!"


Jesus asleep in the boat

Jesus awaked, and rose up, and looked out upon the sea. He said to the waves, "Peace, be still!"

And at once the wind ceased, the waves were quiet, and there was a great calm. Jesus said to his disciples, "Why are you afraid? How is it that you have so little faith in me?"

They all wondered at Jesus' power, and said to each other, "Who is this man whom even the winds and the sea obey?"

They came to the land on the eastern side of the lake, which was sometimes called "the country of the Gadarenes," from the people who lived in the large city of Gardara, which was not far away, and sometimes "Decapolis." As they were landing a man came running down to meet them. He was one of those poor men in whose body evil spirits were living. He would not stay in any house, but slept in the graveyard among the dead. Nor did he wear any clothes. They had often chained him, but he had broken loose from his chains, and no one was able to bind him.

When this man saw Jesus afar off he ran towards him, and fell down on his face before him. Jesus saw what was the trouble with this man, and he spoke to the evil spirit in him, "Come out of this man, vile spirit of evil!"

The spirit within the man cried with a loud voice, "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I call upon thee in the name of the Lord, do not make me to suffer!"

Jesus saw that this man was troubled more even than most men who had evil spirits in them. He said to the evil one, "What is your name?"

And the spirit said, "My name is Legion, because there are many of us." "A legion" was a name given to an army; and in this man was a whole army of evil spirits. There was on the mountain side a great drove of hogs feeding. The Jews were not allowed to keep hogs, nor to eat their flesh; and the evil spirits said to Jesus, "If we must leave this man, will you let us go into the drove of hogs?"

Jesus gave them leave; and the evil spirits went out of the man, and went into the hogs. The whole drove, two thousand in number, became at once wild. They rushed down a steep place on the mountain, and into the sea, and were all drowned.

The men who kept the hogs ran into the city near by, and told all the people how the man had been made well, and what had come to the drove of hogs, how they had been drowned. They saw the man who had been filled with evil spirits, now sitting at the feet of Jesus, no longer naked, but clothed, and in his right mind. But they did not think of what Jesus had done to this man; they thought only of the hogs that they had lost; and they begged Jesus to go away from their land.

Jesus turned away from these people, and went again to the boat on the shore; and then the man who had been set free from the evil spirits pleaded with Jesus that he might go with him. But Jesus would not take him into the boat. He said:

"Go home to your friends, and tell them how the Lord has had mercy on you, and has done great things for you."

The man went home and told all the people in the land of Decapolis the great things that Jesus had done for him.

And Jesus went on board the boat, and crossed over the lake, and came again to his own city of Capernaum.