Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Luke 8:26-39

 

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26  Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.

27  And as he stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes, and he lived not in a house but among the tombs.

28  When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech you, do not torment me."

29  For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him; he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters, but he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the desert.)

30  Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him.

31  And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.

32  Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them leave.

33  Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

34  When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.

35  Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

36  And those who had seen it told them how he who had been possessed with demons was healed.

37  Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them; for they were seized with great fear; so he got into the boat and returned.

38  The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but he sent him away, saying,

39  "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

26 Καὶ κατέπλευσεν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντίπερα τῆς Γαλιλαίας. 27 ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἀνήρ τις ἐκ τῆς πόλεως, ὃς εἶχε δαιμόνια ἐκ χρόνων ἱκανῶν, καὶ ἱμάτιον οὐκ ἐνεδιδύσκετο καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ οὐκ ἔμενεν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν. 28 ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἀνακράξας προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ καὶ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ εἶπε· τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ, υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ὑψίστου; δέομαί σου, μή με βασανίσῃς. 29 παρήγγειλε γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις συνηρπάκει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδεσμεῖτο ἁλύσεσι καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος, καὶ διαρρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ ἠλαύνετο ὑπὸ τοῦ δαίμονος εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους. 30 ἐπηρώτησε δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων· τί σοί ἐστιν ὄνομα; ὁ δὲ εἶπε· λεγεών· ὅτι δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς αὐτόν· 31 καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν ἵνα μὴ ἐπιτάξῃ αὐτοῖς εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον ἀπελθεῖν. 32 ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ ἀγέλη χοίρων ἱκανῶν βοσκομένων ἐν τῷ ὄρει· καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιτρέψῃ αὐτοῖς εἰς ἐκείνους εἰσελθεῖν· καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς. 33 ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν λίμνην καὶ ἀπεπνίγη. 34 ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ βόσκοντες τὸ γεγενημένον ἔφυγον, καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς. 35 ἐξῆλθον δὲ ἰδεῖν τὸ γεγονός, καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ εὗρον καθήμενον τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἀφ᾿ οὗ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐξεληλύθει, ἱματισμένον καὶ σωφρονοῦντα παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν. 36 ἀπήγγειλαν δὲ αὐτοῖς οἱ ἰδόντες πῶς ἐσώθη ὁ δαιμονισθείς. 37 καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῆς περιχώρου τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν ἀπελθεῖν ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν, ὅτι φόβῳ μεγάλῳ συνείχοντο· αὐτὸς δὲ ἐμβὰς εἰς τὸ πλοῖον ὑπέστρεψεν. 38 ἐδέετο δὲ αὐτοῦ ὁ ἀνήρ, ἀφ᾿ οὗ ἐξεληλύθει τὰ δαιμόνια, εἶναι σὺν αὐτῷ· ἀπέλυσε δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων· 39 ὑπόστρεφε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου καὶ διηγοῦ ὅσα ἐποίησέ σοι ὁ Θεός. καὶ ἀπῆλθε καθ᾿ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν κηρύσσων ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς.

Larger Thought Unit

Luke 8:22-9:6 is the larger context for todayís reading of the Gadarene Demoniac, and consists of four miracle stories which leads to Christ commissioning his disciples to go out and minister in like manner. What is important in todayís reading is that it is the only instance, in Lukeís gospel, of Christ leaving Jewish territory and going clearly into Gentile lands.  Hence what Christ accomplishes here is a type of what lies ahead for the apostles.  Here Christ casts out the legion of demons after he had just calmed the sea.  He has universal power.  And like in the story, this power elicits numerous responses from faith to fear and rejection.  Finally the converted man must stay amongst his own people and bear witness to what God has accomplished.

 

Notes

See The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost.

 

Further resource

Charles H. Talbert, Reading Luke, Smith & Helwys Publishing, Macon GA, 2002;  pp.99-105

Paul Nadim Tarazi, New Testament Introduction, Vol.1: Paul and Mark, St Vladimirís Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1999; pp.165-6.

Paul Nadim Tarazi, New Testament Introduction, Vol.2: Luke and Acts, St Vladimirís Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 2001; pp.72-73.

 

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