Jesus is with his disciples in a boat crossing the lake. A storm comes. His disciples panic; Jesus is asleep. The disciples wake Jesus up and he calms the storm. The disciples are amazed.
Arriving at the other side of the lake Jesus meets two violent demon-possessed men. Jesus engages with the men; Jesus sends their demons into a herd of pigs that rush into the lake and drown. The men are healed; Jesus is asked to leave.
- Disciples/demons – Jesus is first with scared disciples and then violent demons
- Desperation – Both disciples and demon-possessed men are desperate; they are facing forces and fears that are outside their control.
- Demonstration – Jesus demonstrates his power over physical, mental and spiritual powers and forces.
- Deliverance – Disciples and men are delivered as the storm is calmed and the men are healed.
I realised these four headings form the classic structure of a story telling: setting, conflict, climax, resolution….
So in these stories:
- Setting – Jesus and his disciples are in a boat crossing the lake
- Conflict – The storm comes, the disciples are petrified, Jesus is asleep.
- Climax – The disciples wake Jesus up: ‘Lord save us. We’re going to drown!’ Can Jesus do anything? Will he do anything?
- Resolution – Jesus calms the storm; the disciples are amazed: ‘What’s going on here? Winds and waves obey him!’
- Setting – They arrive on the other side of the lake; they are met by two men
- Conflict – These two demon-possessed madmen terrorise the neighbourhood. Spirits in the men oppose the spirit of Jesus.
- Climax – The men scream at Jesus. How will Jesus respond? Can the men change?
- Resolution – Jesus confronts the demons, sending them out of the men and into the pigs. The pigs run into the lake and drown; a mob forms and demands that Jesus leaves.