He Carried Our Diseases 8 1Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. 2Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.” 3Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. 4Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” 5As Jesus entered the village of Capernaum, a Roman captain came up in a panic and said, 6“Master, my servant is sick. He can’t walk. He’s in terrible pain.” 7Jesus said, “I’ll come and heal him.” 8“Oh, no,” said the captain. “I don’t want to put you to all that trouble. Just give the order and my servant will be fine. 9I’m a man who takes orders and gives orders. I tell one soldier, ‘Go,’ and he goes; to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10Taken aback, Jesus said, “I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know all about God and how he works. 11This man is the vanguard of many outsiders who will soon be coming from all directions—streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God’s kingdom banquet alongside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 12Then those who grew up ‘in the faith’ but had no faith will find themselves out in the cold, outsiders to grace and wondering what happened.” 13Then Jesus turned to the captain and said, “Go. What you believed could happen has happened.” At that moment his servant became well. 14By this time they were in front of Peter’s house. On entering, Jesus found Peter’s mother–in–law sick in bed, burning up with fever. 15He touched her hand and the fever was gone. No sooner was she up on her feet than she was fixing dinner for him. 16That evening a lot of demon–afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. 17He fulfilled Isaiah’s well–known sermon: He took our illnesses, He carried our diseases. Your Business Is Life, Not Death 18When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. 19As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. 20Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” 21Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.” 22Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.” 23Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. 24The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! 25They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!” 26Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint–hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. 27The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command!” The Madmen and the Pigs 28They landed in the country of the Gadarenes and were met by two madmen, victims of demons, coming out of the cemetery. The men had terrorized the region for so long that no one considered it safe to walk down that stretch of road anymore. 29Seeing Jesus, the madmen screamed out, “What business do you have giving us a hard time? You’re the Son of God! You weren’t supposed to show up here yet!” 30Off in the distance a herd of pigs was browsing and rooting. 31The evil spirits begged Jesus, “If you kick us out of these men, let us live in the pigs.” 32Jesus said, “Go ahead, but get out of here!” Crazed, the pigs stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. 33Scared to death, the swineherds bolted. They told everyone back in town what had happened to the madmen and the pigs. 34Those who heard about it were angry about the drowned pigs. A mob formed and demanded that Jesus get out and not come back.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About