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Humble Hero

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    Superstition Excited Fears

    The demonstration of supernatural power raised the fears of the people. Further disasters might follow from having this Stranger among them. Those who had crossed the lake with Jesus told of their danger in the storm and how Jesus had stilled the wind and the sea. But their words had no effect. In terror the people pleaded with Jesus to go away, and He complied, taking ship at once for the opposite shore.HH 154.1

    The people of Gergesa were so afraid of endangering their earthly interests that they treated Jesus, who had vanquished the prince of darkness before their eyes, like an intruder, turning away the Gift of heaven from their doors. There are still many people today who refuse to obey Christ’s word because obedience would involve sacrificing some worldly interest. Fearful that His presence might cause them some monetary loss, many reject His grace and drive His Spirit from them.HH 154.2

    But the men whom Jesus had restored wanted the company of their Deliverer. In His presence, they felt safe from the demons that had tormented their lives and wasted their best years. As Jesus was about to enter the boat, they kept close to His side and begged Him to keep them near Him. But Jesus told them to go home and tell what great things the Lord had done for them.HH 154.3

    Here was a work for them to do—to go to a heathen home and tell of the blessing they had received from Jesus. It was hard for them to be separated from the Savior. Difficulties were sure to follow them. Long isolation from society seemed to disqualify them for the work He had given them. But as soon as Jesus pointed out their duty, they were ready to obey. They went throughout Decapolis, declaring everywhere His power to save and describing how He had freed them from the demons. In doing this work, they could receive a greater blessing than if they had remained in His presence. In working to spread the “good news” of salvation, we are brought near to the Savior.HH 154.4

    The two restored men were the first missionaries Christ sent to preach in the region of Decapolis. These men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ for only a few moments. But in their own persons, they carried the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew, what they had seen and heard and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. See 1 John 1:1-3.HH 154.5

    If we have been following Jesus step by step, we will have something to tell about the way in which He has led us—how we have tested His promise and found the promise true. This is the witness for which our Lord calls us.HH 154.6

    Though the people of Gergesa had not received Jesus, He did not leave them to the darkness they had chosen. They had not heard His words. They were ignorant of what they were rejecting. So He again sent light to them by those to whom they would not refuse to listen.HH 154.7

    The destruction of the swine alerted the whole country as nothing else could have done and directed attention to Christ. The men He healed remained as witnesses to His power, channels of light, messengers of the Son of God. This experience opened a door throughout that region. When Jesus returned to Decapolis, thousands heard the message. God overrules even the working of evil to bring about good.HH 154.8

    The demon-possessed men of Gergesa, dwelling among the graves, in slavery to uncontrolled passions and loathsome lusts, represent what humanity would become if left to Satan’s rule. Satan constantly exerts his influence on people to control the mind and incite to violence and crime. He darkens the intellect and defiles the heart. Whenever people reject the Savior’s invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Many in the home, in business, and even in church are doing this today. Because of this, violence and crime blanket the earth, and moral darkness encloses the places where people live. Satan leads men and women to worse and worse evils, until complete wickedness and ruin are the result. The only safeguard against his power is the presence of Jesus. In the sight of men and angels, Satan has been revealed as our enemy and destroyer; Christ, as our Friend and Deliverer.HH 155.1

    God has called us to be “conformed to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:29. And people who have been degraded into instruments of Satan are still transformed through Christ into messengers of righteousness and sent out to tell “what great things the Lord has done for you.”HH 155.2

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