“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes”.
Mk 5:1 NIV
Where does God reside? We all tend to regard him as belonging to “us”. We sing, “O God our help in ages past”. But just who is the “our” or the “us”? Is it the whole of humanity? Or just the nation where the hymn is being sung? Or the church maybe? It shows how we tend to domesticate God.
There was no doubt in Jewish minds of the time of Jesus that God was in Israel, and more particularly in Jerusalem. After all he had called this nation into being and promised them this piece of land. When therefore Jesus and the disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee to the other side they went to the region of the Gerasenes who were not Israelites at all. In other words they went into an area that was foreign to them and, they no doubt thought, foreign to their God as well. It is just possible that Jesus was saying “In fact we need to expand the awareness of God and his kingdom and demonstrate his love for, and rule over, these Gentiles as well”. If, by his actions in stilling the storm, Jesus had shown God’s sovereignty over nature here he was “trespassing” into Gentile territory every bit as Paul did much later when he took the good news of Jesus, his cross and resurrection, to the Gentiles of Asia Minor and Europe. The truth would out! God could not be limited to the Israelites or their little stretch of land. There was a big wide world waiting to know about him – and about Jesus.
Still the world is big – and needs the power and presence of Jesus.
Lord, help me to spread the message of Jesus.