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Depart From Our Region

Sweetwater Recorder

By Ronald G. Currell

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church,

Jesus said, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!"

In Judea, Galilee, and in Samaria, Jesus had proved Himself to be the Son of Man, one who cares for people outside the concerns of the "Son of David". We see in the Gospel accounts that He corrected all those who called Him this Son of David. He proved Himself to be the Messiah of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. And Jesus had told John the Baptist that He was the Expected One, when He had said, "The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the Gospel preached to them." And Jesus showed the people that the Kingdom of God had come. Some call it the Kingdom of God. Others call it the Kingdom of Heaven. They are both the Kingdom of Christ. But whatever you call it, Jesus evidenced its coming by His Works: Jesus had pointed out, "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you." Jesus had just now shown Himself to be Sovereign of the forces of nature, as he walked upon the Sea of Galilee and calmed the storm. Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit met Him, a man who had his dwelling among the tombs. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. He cried, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me."

Jesus said to him, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!"

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, "Send us to the swine." And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned. So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. And Jesus departed to the other side.

Here, we see Jesus presented to us through the Gospel account as being the Son of the Most High God. In this role, Jesus does the works that mark the presence of the Kingdom. What is interesting is to see the reaction of people to it. They do not see the miracle of a healed man as important. The Kingdom has cost them, so they ask it to depart. There is a cost for the Kingdom, the Pearl of Great Price. So, let us recognize it when it’s near, see its miracles, and pay the cost. Then, the Kingdom is ours.

Just as the people of Sweetwater need different Christian experiences, the various Christian Churches offer different expressions of the same faith. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church offers a quiet, respectful hour dedicated to God every Sunday Morning at 11:00 AM, preceded by a thought-provoking Bible Class at 9:45, where we discuss intriguing passages from the Scriptures. Drop by some time. See us on the Internet and experience our online chapel in "Christ Themes" at www.ststephens.net.

Please make plans to attend your Church-of-choice this coming Sunday.

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