As the class huddled together with their story-corner quilts and pillows, Nannygranne continued the account given by Matthew and Mark about an incident with the “other” angels.
“As I started to say, Jesus had worked all day in the town where He lived, a town called Capernaum. He’d healed Peter’s mother-in-law, who had been very sick. Then, after supper, the whole village came bringing their sick family and friends. Jesus and His disciples worked late into the night.
“Jesus finally told His men that He wanted them to go across the lake—they called it the Sea of Galilee-—to the other side. When they set sail, Jesus got a pillow and lay down at the back of the ship. After a while, a mighty windstorm came up. The waves were so big they sloshed water into the boat. It was filling up and about to sink! But Jesus was fast asleep. The disciples screamed at Him to wake up and save them before they drowned!
“Jesus sat up and looked around. Then he said, ‘Why are you guys so afraid? Don’t you trust me?’ Then He got up and spoke to the storm: ‘Alright, you old windbag, cut it out! And water, you lay down and be still!’”
Nannygranne snapped her fingers. “And just like that, the wind calmed down to a gentle breeze, the clouds disappeared, and the stars came out. The water was suddenly as smooth as glass! The disciples said, ‘Whoa! What kind of man talks to the wind and water and makes them obey!’
“Well, the next morning, they finally came to the shore. But the wind had blown them off course and they’d landed right at a cemetery! This cemetery was in some caves.” Nannygranne lowered her voice. “And somebody lived in those caves.” She looked from face to face, eyes opened wide. “And that somebody had a whole bunch of somethings living in him!”
The girls huddled together and squealed. The boys chattered noisily, trying to out-grotesque what they thought was happening in the story.
Nannygranne raised her hand for silence. Then, eyebrows raised, she continued. “Those ‘somethings’ living in that poor man were demons and they drove him wild! He ran through the mountains at night, screaming. People tried to catch him and chain him up, but he broke the chains. And they dangled and clanked when he ran. He cut himself with rocks so he had dried blood all over him. His clothes were torn off and he smelled terrible. His hair and beard were long and scraggly, and his teeth were just nasty.
“When the boat landed, here came that wild man running and screaming. When he got to Jesus, he fell on his face and started begging. ‘Jesus! Son of God most high! In the name of God, please don’t hurt us! Please don’t torture us!’ Really that was the demons talking. They were saying this because Jesus was telling them to get out and go far, far away. They begged and begged for their lives. Jesus asked the man’s name, but the demons answered: ‘Call us Legion because there are a lot of us here.’
“Jesus looked up and saw about two thousand pigs up on a hill, so He ordered the demons to get out of the man and go into the pigs. When the demons took over the pigs, the two thousand pigs began to stampede and squeal. They ran right off a cliff into the lake and drowned.”
The class erupted into cheers and applause—Nannygranne included.
Once they quieted, Nannygranne asked, “What do we learn about demons from what happened that day?”
“That they’re scared of Jesus!” shouted Anthony. “They knew who He was, too!”
“Good observation, Anthony! Yes, they did know who He was, and they also fell at His feet in fear. If they believed in Jesus, were they saved?”
The boys and girls looked at each other. Finally Emma spoke up. “No, because they don’t trust and obey Jesus.”
“Well said, Emma.”
Alex asked, “Can demons get inside us like that and make us wild?” The question quieted the room. Nobody breathed. Wide eyes turned to Nannygranne. Nannygranne knew Alex needed an answer now.
“Do you remember how we learned that television and movie angels aren’t always like the real ones God shows us in His scriptures?”
Nods among the students confirmed that they remembered.
“Well, TV and the movies have more demons, devils, and monsters than good angels. And those pretend bad ones aren’t like the real ones, either. The real ones are worse. But from the story we’re studying, you can see that, as bad as they are, Jesus can stop them and make them do what He says.”
“But I don’t want a devil to get inside me,” Destiny said as she moved closer to her teacher.
Nannygranne pulled Destiny close, putting her arm around her shoulder. “And Jesus doesn’t either, Destiny. You see, when Jesus lived in Capernaum and helped people in His country, Satan was working extra hard to stop Him. But when Jesus left this earth, He sent the Holy Spirit-—who is just as strong as Jesus is-—to come and live inside His people. Did you guys know about that?”
“Arise and be baptized for the remission of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” quoted Emma.
“Excellent Emma. You remembered one of our Bible verses. Let me ask you something, Emma.”
“Okay,” she said proudly.
“If the Holy Spirit—who is as strong as Jesus—lives inside you, would He let a demon inside you, too?”
“No way!” shouted Anthony.
“What do you think, Alex? If we’ve got the Holy Spirit in us and we’re in Jesus, can any demon take us over?”
Alex looked at his teacher and tilted his head in thought. Then a smile began to spread across his face. “No way!” he echoed. “No way!”
Mark 4-5; Matthew 8; Luke 8; Acts 2:36-38; Romans 8