Friday, December 9, 2011

Between Two Miracles

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. ~ Isaiah 40:29

I would like to welcome Mark, Chris and Paul to my blog.  They are childhood friends that I re-connected with this week and we've been sharing stories about the games we played while growing up.  We invented our own games, like string tag.  Every day we picked a different front yard and made elaborate mazes using kite string.  The person who was "it" started outside the maze and everyone else had to find a way out without getting tagged.  At sunset, we reeled in the kite string and started over the next day with a brand new layout.

Mark recounted his discovery about his home being sold while he visited cousins over the summer.  When he came back to the neighborhood, he was shocked when he found out he was moving to another state and only had about three days to pack his bags.  All of us were devastated when we lost our buddy.  What a joy to be reconnected with these old playmates after forty years of separation.

The Caveman in the Mirror is similar to string tag. I'm inside a giant puzzle searching for a way out.  There's an opponent trying to tag me and take me out of the game.  Every morning when I wake up, I recall some kind of inkling for the book given to me while dreaming.

I found a large nugget last night at 1:00 AM, four hours into a deep sleep.  It's a link to the naked caveman Luke writes about in the Bible.  Most scholars don't pay much attention to this man possessed by demons.  My life is dedicated to understanding him.  For me, he's the missing link connecting me to Jesus and the world.  His past, present, and future have many parallels to my life and I see new clues each time I look at my reflection in the mirror.

Today's message is to help readers understand how to find this caveman in their Bibles.  Instead of referring to chapters and verses, I want to paint a picture of the encounter.   Jesus is in a boat sleeping while traveling to a foreign land.  I have a feeling He's dreaming about what's ahead.  His dreams become nightmares as He visualizes encounters with demons and His own death on the Cross.  This massive storm manifests itself almost causing the boat to capsize.  His eyes remain closed while His followers tremble in fear.  They shake Jesus until He awakes from His dream state.  Jesus is not afraid.  It's not His time yet and He trusts His Father completely.  He raises His hands and the seas calm.  The winds quiet.  It's a miracle.

The boat is headed for a land where Jesus is unknown.  They set foot between two Bible miracles in a place often misunderstood by the Gospel writers who recorded everything Jesus did.  Because they are in an unfamiliar land, the followers give different names to the place where they visited in their individual accounts.  For the sake of simplicity, let's nickname the place "pig valley."  The presence of pigs in the area is significant because it tells us we are no longer in a Jewish community.  Pigs are so unclean that a Jew is not even allowed to touch them.

Jesus is getting ready for the second major miracle which will take place after His return trip home.  I'm referring to feeding 5,000 men plus all the women and children with five loaves of bread and two fish.  This is one of the most famous miracles of Christ's three year public ministry.  Before returning to His people, He must answer the prayers of a lowly caveman, possessed by a multitude of demons.

Jesus and the caveman are the only two who know where Jesus comes from.  The followers in the boat are starting to get a clue that this Jesus is really special, yet they still don't know He's the Son of God.  The naked caveman knows.  Not because he is some kind of prophet.  It's because of the demons inside of him, enough demons to make 2,000 pigs go crazy, run off a cliff and drown in the lake.  That's a lot of demons.

When Jesus gets off the boat, the naked caveman confronts him and asks, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I beg you, do not torment me!"

These "legions"...multiple demons clearly know who this traveler is.  Thanks in part to this possessed caveman, all of the apostles first learn who Jesus really is.  They're a little dense, so it takes three years of miracles and a visit from the Holy Spirit before they solve the mystery and follow the caveman's footsteps into public ministry.  Meanwhile, between two miracles, on a distant land, a man once possessed by demons becomes a publisher.  Every day he tells everyone he comes in contact with from childhood friends to strangers about all the good Jesus is doing in his life.

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