The Madman 5 1They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. 2As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. 3He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. 4He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. 5Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones. 6When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—7then bellowed in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” 8(Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”) 9Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.” He replied, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” 10Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country. 11A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. 12The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” 13Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. 14Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. 15They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man. 16Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon–possessed man and the pigs. 17At first they were in awe—and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back. 18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon–delivered man begged to go along, 19but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” 20The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.   A Risk of Faith   21After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside. 22One of the meeting–place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, 23beside himself as he begged, “My dear daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live.” 24Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him. 25A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—26a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—27had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. 28She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” 29The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with. 30At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” 31His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!” 32But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. 33The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story. 34Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”   35While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?” 36Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.” 37He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. 38They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. 39Jesus was abrupt: “Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.” 40Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. 41He clasped the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” 42At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. 43He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, “Give her something to eat.”
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