16. Obviously, no one lights a lamp and then covers it up with a vessel, or crams it under a bed to obscure its radiance. On the contrary, a lamp is made to be lit and then fixed somewhere up high on a lamp stand, so that it may burn brightly to illuminate everyone who enters the house.
17. When the light is embraced, there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed...nothing concealed that will not be revealed.
18. So consider carefully how you listen...how you hear. See, it's not just what you hear that affects you, it's how you hear it. Your perception determines what you attract to yourself...in this way, those who have will be given more. By the same token, the way you hear can also repel certain things, and move them away from you, so that those who do not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them."
19. One day Jesus' mother and brothers came to see Him, but they were not able to get near Him because He was surrounded by a big crowd.
20. So someone came to Him and said, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to have a word with You."
21. Jesus replied to the man, "You know what? My real mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." And nothing more was said about it.
22. Another day He said to His disciples, "Hey, let's go over to the other side of the lake." So, without question, they all piled into a boat and launched out.
23. As they sailed, Jesus dozed off, and while He slept, a squall abruptly converged on the lake. In practically no time, the boat was being flooded, and they were in great danger of sinking.
24. The frightened disciples went and woke Him up out of His peaceful, undisturbed sleep, saying, "Master! Master! Don't You know that we're about to drown?" Without saying a word, Jesus calmly opened His eyes, sat up and rubbed them for a moment, and then stood up and told the wind to settle down. Immediately, the storm subsided, and the water became like glass.
25. Then He turned around and asked them, "Where in the world is your faith?...and went back to His nap. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He even tells the winds and the water what to do, and they obey him!"
26. After this they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.
27. And as soon as He stepped out of the boat, a madman under the influence of a rebel spirit came right up to him from out of the cemetery. This man actually lived naked, outside among the tombs.
28. But when he saw Jesus from a distance, the spirit controlling him recognized Him, as the spirits always did, and, crying out with a loud voice, the spirit spoke through the man. It said, "What business do You have here with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High? Why has the Son of God come here? I beg you not to torment me!"
29. For Jesus had commanded the rebel spirit to release the man, because many times it had harassed him. And though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains, and had been driven by the dark spirit into solitary places.
30. Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And the spirit responded simultaneously in the singular and in the plural, because in the spirit realm they are most always the same. And, mixing his pronouns he said, "'My' name is Legion, for 'we' are many in this man's life!"
31. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them back into the unseen realm.
32. Now an enormous herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside while this exchange was happening. So "Legion" begged Him, saying, "Please, Sir, grant us permission to go to the hogs, that we may go into them!" So He did give them the permission, being fully aware that they could do nothing without it.
33. And the spirits left the man, and took control of the hogs. And the entire herd immediately rushed headlong down the steep slope into the lake, and were drowned in the water.
34. When those who were tending the hogs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this bizarre event in the town and all over the countryside,
35. and the people went out to see for themselves what had happened. And they came to Jesus and looked with amazement at the man who had been previously controlled by the spirits, just sitting there, clothed, calm, and completely lucid...the very same man who had been controlled by the Legion of spirits called demons...and they were seized with alarm and struck with fear.
36. Those who saw it firsthand told the people how the insane man...the man who seemed to be controlled by the spirits...had been completely restored to mental health and wellness.
37. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because the whole thing was just too much for them...they were overcome with fear because of it. So He got into the boat and left.
38. The man who had been liberated kept begging Him that he might go with Him and be with Him...now worshipping Him on his own accord, and not under the influence of any other entity. But Jesus went away, saying,
39. "No, friend...you'll be more effective if you go home to your own family and friends, and tell them all that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you. They need to see for themselves what has happened to you!" And the man departed and immediately began to publicly proclaim all over town how much Jesus had done for him.