Fury to Freedom

It was very early in the morning as John, Jesus and the disciples came to the shores of Gerasenes. John stared at the subtle painted reds and orange hues of the sunrise as he slowly got out of the boat and looked at the face of his friends. They all had the same look of disbelieve sprayed on their faces. Everyone seemed to be speechless.

John supressed a smile, was it only last night that they had been petrified, when they thought the ferocious storm would drowned them?

John shook his head feeling very childish!

“Jesus, should we sit here for a while?” Peter’s deep voice boomed as he pointed to a spot where they could have breakfast, interrupting the quietness of the morning.

John’s stomach rumbled at the thought of having freshly baked fish and flat bread. It had been a rough night and they were ready for a good meal.

Jesus opened his mouth to speak but his words were drowned by a sudden manic screech that shook the earth.

John’s heart thundered and the hairs at the nape of his neck pricked up.

Everyone froze.

Suddenly out of the trees tore a ferocious looking beast that lunged towards them. Teeth bare, growling and hissing.

His body seem to convulse with each step he took. He snarled and roared.

What kind of creatures was that?

Then as it got closer John gasped. It was a disfigured man gaunt and grotesque.

The John remembered. This must be the man people talked about. The wild beast that roamed the graveyards of Gerasenes! No one had been safe to travel pass that way; for this man attacked anyone with the fury of demons and murdered them. No one could lock him up – he couldn’t be chained or tied down. They said he slashed his body with sharp stones and object.

All these years John thought it was myth.

The man stopped abruptly and with irrational wild eyes glowered from underneath his crazed, knotted hair. He didn’t look like a human at all but like a ferocious creature ready to slaughter them all. His skin torn and bleeding, oozing with pus and maggots devouring his flesh.

John’s stomach twisted in disgust and his legs began to shake.

His heart hammered a thousand mile a minute. He had seen these types before. Demon possessed. The bad spirits living in their bodies and making them lose all sense of humanity. He wasn’t crazy. He was possessed.

John couldn’t move. He couldn’t’ think.

The man let out a roar and lunged towards them with something sharp glistening in his hand.

Deep fear shook John and with a deafening cry he hurled the little sack of food he carried and fled in horror.

He hid behind a tree, his body shuddering and jaw quivering. His breath coming fast and short, a strong dizzy spell rushed through is body and little dark stars danced in his eyes. John closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. Perilous thoughts tore through his brain. What if he was devoured or killed. He didn’t want to die – he couldn’t.

Someone shook him and whispered close to his ear, “Calm down man!”

John’s eyes flunk opened. It was his brother James.

“Breathe slowly, just breathe.” James grabbed his shoulders and shook him gently.

John nodded and slowly his breathing started to go back to normal.

Another growl and howl pierced the silence of the morning.

Nervously John stuck his head out from behind his tree and noticed that Jesus hadn’t followed. Instead he stood exactly where they had left him, facing the demonic savage.

Jesus had was raised and the man couldn’t go nearer, it was as if Jesus had an invisible shield around him. John looked at his friends and pointed silently to the sight.

Everyone nodded.

The man stood in front of Jesus ranging, screeching and screaming. He tore at his hair and scratched his skin with stones – causing the wounds to deepen.

Helplessly he fell to the ground.

Slowly John moved away from the tree and inched himself closer to Jesus, making sure that he stood behind him. The other disciples followed and did the same. 

Wordlessly they waited and watched what Jesus would do next. John could feel his heart pump furiously.

The man let out a growl and hunched over at the feet of Jesus, “What do you want with me Jesus, son of the Most High God?” He shrieked. “Don’t look at me!”

The man trembled on the ground and hid his face in his hands, “I beg you, don’t torture me! Go away!” His screams echoed all around them.

John shook.

Jesus remained calm and spoke softly yet with great authority, “What is your name?” He asked.

The man twisted and moaned before answering, “Legion.” His voice now hoarse from screaming. “Legion,” he repeated, “because I have many demons living inside of me.”

Jesus stretched out his hand again and commanded in a great voice, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

The man convulsed violently, eyes rolling in his head, yet the spirit didn’t want to come out of him.

“Please, I beg you son of God. Don’t let us go into the abyss. Don’t let us go there!” The man cried bitterly and loudly – his voice unnatural. It came from deep within, his lips didn’t more but those who lived in him, answered.

John covered his ears at the hollow chilling sound.

Suddenly the man stopped sobbing and turned his deformed face towards the hillside.

His eyes rounded and he pointed.

Everyone turned to look. A large herd of pigs grazed the grass.

“Look.” The voice boomed, “let us go in them. Let us go inside those pigs.”

The creepy voices talked on top of each other and the defeaning sound of their moaning reverberated around them.

 “Let us please. Give us permission Son of the highest God. We beg you.”

John stared at the man and then turned to Jesus. What would Jesus do?

Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and commanded the demons to enter the pigs.

With a violent shudder something came out of the man and with the sound of a violent wind they flew across to the pigs.

Suddenly the pigs head lifted up and a deep rumbled echoed in the field. Crazed and possessed the pigs stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.

John eyes rounded in fear, tear filled his eyes. Never had he see something so scary and spectacular in his life.

John turned to look at the possessed man who was still kneeling on the ground. His face serene, peaceful staring at Jesus. Tears ran down his cheeks, “Jesus Lord. Thank you. Thank you!” He sobbed.

Jesus bent over and touched his shoulder with compassion.

Then Peter stepped forward and taking his outer cloak, he covered the man’s trembling body.

“I’m free. I’m free.” He cried –  His face radiating joy.

John nodded happily and looked at everyone around him. No eye was dry. Everyone’s heart was moved. It was so good to be freed in Jesus.

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