2011 Bulletins "The Year of Possibilities"


H. L. Sheppard


                                                                                                                                               September 2011

The Impossible Wild Man

(Mark 4:37-41; 5:1-20)

They must have passed by that cemetery a thousand times on their way to work. He lived there, you know. They could hear his agonizing, tortured guttural groanings deep into the night. Even in daylight they walked on the far side of the road to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the wild man. Only a few brave souls had ever ventured close enough to actually see him. His name had become synonymous with the Devil. His feats of super-human strength were terrifying to ordinary men. Children must have had nightmares after being told: "if you don't behave, the wild man in the cemetery will come and get you"! He was impossible to deal with.

He was a dying man, living among the already dead.  His home was the crypts filled with rotting corpses. It has been suggested that his food could have been anything from human, to animal flesh to wild berries growing around the countryside. With long hair, tangled and knotted, and a beard matted with the drippings of a rancid diet, he must have evoked a sensation of overwhelming fear to any who might catch a glimpse of his scarred naked frame. His life was impossible to imagine.

The townsfolk decided that this maniac had held their graveyard hostage, and kept them in fear, long enough. So, they voted that the boldest and strongest would go down and subdue him by force, chain him up, and neutralize him once and for all. Who knows what ingenious device they concocted to effect his capture? They somehow managed to get chains on his hands and feet. Their fears subsided momentarily…until he snapped the chains. Every time they tried, they failed, until they finally just gave up. After repeated attempts, they realized he just could not be bound. So, he was left to roam the hills and mountains, carve up his own flesh with stones and sleep among the cadavers who never interfered, never corrected never told him what to do with his life. He was impossible to subdue.

High winds and rough waters had kept the Apostles wide-eyed and alert on their stormy voyage across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had been sound asleep, until their abject fear forced the Apostles to awaken Him with an inquisitive rebuke: "Master, carest thou not that we perish"?  They were upbraided for their lack of faith.  Now, they were landing on the infamous shores of Gadara. Was it possible that the Lord had just saved them from a life threatening storm at sea, only to have them killed in a graveyard by a crazy man with super-human strength? Had Jesus transported them from one night-mare straight into another? If the storm didn't get them, a run-in with the wild man of Gadara would surely prove lethal. The wild-man was impossible to reason with.

A blood curdling cry in the distance seized them with mind numbing fear.  Cowering near the boat, they saw the super-human crazy man rushing toward them.  Then, the strangest thing happened. His words, his body language, everything about him suddenly revealed a man in the throes of worship. He bowed down before the Lord as he worshiped Him. Jesus said: "Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit". The impossible wild man was suddenly transformed.


What scores of heroic well-meaning citizens could not do, what ropes and chains and traps could not accomplish, what a thousand demons had held captive in an old graveyard full of bones, Jesus transformed and set free with just eight words (the number of "new beginnings"). From darkness to light, from death to life from a graveyard to a home with a loving family, an encounter with The Christ made the impossible…possible.


On a stormy day, in a damp musty old cemetery, an impossible demon possessed man met the Master of the Impossible, Jesus Christ. The change was radical, the results immediate. In the next scene he is clothed, in his right mind and on his way back to his family.


Have you felt isolated, lonely out of control? Have you sensed a devilish force dogging your path, sabotaging your very life? Do you find yourself in a desperate place in the midst of a howling storm? Do you think change is impossible? Then, let me introduce you to the Master of the Impossible. He has never encountered a problem to hard to solve, a question to difficult to answer a soul he could not rescue.


If  Jesus Christ will brave a raging sea and confront a thousand devils to save a Legion,  He will not hesitate to step boldly into the painful place where you live and perform the impossible. Entrust your life to Jesus. Remember, this is your "Year of Possibilities!


Luke 1:37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.