Hard to believe I am only wrapping up day 3. I've done 14 posts already! Each day we did so much! If you are reading this post and have never gone to Israel, it is such an enriching experience!! Please try to go!
To finish our tour for the day, we went to Gergesa, located close to the kibbutz where we were staying. There are ruins of a Byzantine monastery there.
So, what happened here?
Well, Jesus had told His disciples that they should get in the boat and go across to the other side of the lake. Since fishing boats usually held 4 people, there were probably several boats. The disciples were probably not at all excited about this. They did not want to go to the Gentile side, where the people had temples for idol worship, bath complexes, theatres, rampant sexual promiscuity and a diet of pork and other ritually unclean foods. That was Satan's realm! But God had a plan - the Kingdom of God would even include Gentiles who lived on the other side.
As they were crossing, a huge windstorm, called a sharkia blew up and the boats were in danger of sinking. The winds were screaming - sounding like a tornado or even screaming demons. I am sure the enemy did not want Jesus coming to their side! But with a word from Jesus, the wind died down. There was a great calm.
As soon as Jesus got out of the boat after landing (implying that perhaps the disciples were too afraid to get out?), He was met by a man who came out of the burial caves there. He had an evil spirit in him and nobody could keep him tied with chains. Many times his feet and hands had been tied, but he broke them and smashed the irons. He was too strong for anyone to control him. He wandered among the tombs screaming and cutting himself.
Jesus commanded the evil spirits to leave the man and sent them into a herd of pigs who were feeding on the hillside. And the whole herd - about 2,000 pigs in all - rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and drowned. Isn't that interesting? Pigs are boyant but they drowned! Did you know that the running boar is the mascot of the Roman 10th legion? Well the village was not happy. They had virtually lost their "401K's"!!
How great is our God, Who is in control over all! There is no need to fear! He is powerful and mighty!
We ended the day by going to a fish restaurant owned by the kibbutz.