Mercy Brings Healing
Mercy is at the heart of everything Jesus did. This was on display when Jesus called Matthew, the tax collector, to be a disciple. Many other sinners came to Jesus, too, and found his mercy.
People react to Jesus in different ways in Matthew's Gospel. We read of them being jealous. People are often amazed or surprised by things Jesus says and does. In this passage, Matthew shows us that people are afraid of Jesus. This is important to remember for those who would follow Jesus. He is the savior. He offers that we can be his friends. Still, he is also always our master and the one coming to judge us in the end.
Deliver Us From Evil
Matthew's story of Jesus freeing the Gadarene men from demon-possession challenges us to take seriously the invisible aspects of reality. Just as the disciples that day were confronted by the reality of evil, personal spirits, Matthew reminds us that Jesus' authority is just as real. More important, Jesus' authority is irresistible. Be found faithful to Jesus, and have no need to fear the demonic in our world.
Wise students learn key lessons from the way the winds and the sea obey Jesus one stormy day. Matthew's framing of this story with questions of discipleship points the way.