The man’s foot stepped over the side of the boat and into the water near the shore. Within moments, he was climbing the hill to take his place to sit down, to teach. Many people had gathered to hear Him speak and possibly receive His touch for healing. He looked at the multitudes. “We need to buy bread for these people,” He said to Phillip, his follower. Jesus knew that an empty stomach would be a distraction to the mass of people that had come listen to him teach.
“It would take over two hundred silver pieces to buy enough food for each person to have just a small piece of bread. There are over 5,000 people here, Master.” Phillip told Him.
“There is a little boy with a lunch of bread and fish,” Andrew whispered to the Master. “But, that is just a small amount for such a huge crowd.”
“Ask the boy if I may have his lunch,” Jesus said to Andrew and he told his disciples to make the people sit down on the grassy knoll. The disciples watched from a distance as Andrew approached the small child and were amazed that the lad readily agreed to give up his lunch.
When Jesus took the bread, he gave thanks, and gave it to the people that were gathered there. He did the same thing with the fish. Everyone ate until they were full. Not only were all their empty stomachs filled, but also 12 baskets were filled with leftovers.
He hung his head, tired after the long hours that fell behind him. It was early in the morning and he hadn’t slept for almost twenty-four hours. He could easily hate this business because he never knew if he would bring back a full load of fish or not. Peter and his brother, Andrew inherited their business from their father, who had inherited it from his father.
Sweat poured from his brow, streaming down his beard and dripping off onto the sleeve of his tunic. Seaweed clung to his fingers as he pulled the nets up from the water into the boat.
“Did you catch anything this morning?,” Peter heard Him ask.
“No,” Peter answered. “We haven’t caught one fish.”
“Throw your nets on the right side of the boat and see what happens,” Jesus said.
“Master, we’ve fished all night and haven’t caught a thing!” Peter exclaimed frantically. But, in obedience, he and his brother cast their nets to the opposite side of the boat.
The fishermen never knew how the fish got into their empty nets. But, they knew that the Man who had given those instructions was the Miracle Worker and whatever He said to do, they would do it. Now, their empty nets were so full, they thought they would break.
“Why are you here?” the man screamed. “Have you come to torment us?” Jesus and his followers had just come to shore on the opposite side of the Sea of Galilee, when this madman met them. He was obviously filled with demons. He was naked and had lived in the tombs, in the cemetery.
No one knew what had caused this man to become so infested with demons. He had to be chained on the outside of the city gates to protect the inhabitants. Still, he would break the chains and tear his clothes. He slept among the tombs. The people of the city could hear his cries at night. Jesus was now standing before him.
“What business do you have with me?” the man screamed.
Looking at the man, Jesus asked, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he said. It was not the man’s voice. The demons talked through him.
“Don’t send us to the bottomless pit,” the demons yelled through the man whose face was scratched beyond recognition. His hair was matted with dirt and mud. Every inch of his naked body was covered with the stench of urine and feces.
Jesus looked beyond the man to a herd of pigs grazing on the hill. “Go,” He commanded, “into that herd of swine!” Immediately the demons left the man and went into the pigs. The herd was so full of demons that they ran off a cliff, squealing into the waters below.
The man, full of demons was now empty and the pigs that were empty became full. What a change that He can make at any moment.
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