Fear and Faith (Luke 8:22-52)

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Fear and Faith (Luke 8:22-52)

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One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.”… As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came… the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger… Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes… met by a demon-possessed man from the town… When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid… all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear… A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her… Then the woman… came trembling and fell at his feet… he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”… Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

Luke 8:22-52 (NIV84)

In January and February I’ve been making regular trips to work with the Ashɛ translation and literacy team in their office, and to help them along in their work. It’s 6 hours of driving for at most 5 hours of time with the team and I might easily plough through as much training, planning and research as possible, but it’s also important to spend a significant chunk at the start of each day together reading aloud from big chunks of the Ishɛ scriptures (Luke’s gospel) and modelling for the team how we take it seriously. I can’t manage all the discussion in Ishɛ myself, but we use Ishɛ language as much as we can. 

One Tuesday together we considered much of Luke chapter 8 from verse 22, noticing how Jesus showed his followers how they should turn from agõõi iwei (hearing fear) to ajẽhẽ ijii (trusting) him. Fear is very familiar to us all; we’re easily overwhelmed with fear of people, sickness, death, failure, uncertainty and change, whether in Ashɛ land or Jos or the UK, but Jesus has come to sort that out and we need to take him seriously. 

May God help us practically trust in Jesus as we reflect on what the first disciples saw and learned.

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