Orthodox Thought for the Day


Saturday, October 26, 2013

A lesson from the Gerasenes

Neither professors of philosophy nor leaders of the synagogue can offer any cure when peoples perish.  It is Christ alone Who takes away the sins of the people, provided they do not refuse to submit to healing.  But He does not deign to cure the unwilling and soon abandons the weak for whom it seems that His presence is a burden, like the peoples of the Gerasenes, who went out from that country, which appears to be an image of the synagogue, and besought Him to depart from them, because 'they were taken with great fear,' (Lk. 8:37).  For a weak mind does not grasp the Word of God, nor can it sustain the weight of wisdom; it falls apart and is dissolved. 

Then they sailed to the territory of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.  When he came ashore a man from the town who was possessed by demons met him. For a long time he had not worn clothes; he did not live in a house, but lived among the tombs.  

When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him; in a loud voice he shouted, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me!”  For he had ordered the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (It had taken hold of him many times, and he used to be bound with chains and shackles as a restraint, but he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into deserted places.) 

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they pleaded with him not to order them to depart to the abyss.  A herd of many swine was feeding there on the hillside, and they pleaded with him to allow them to enter those swine; and he let them.  The demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside.  People came out to see what had happened and, when they approached Jesus, they discovered the man from whom the demons had come out sitting at his feet. He was clothed and in his right mind, and they were seized with fear.  Those who witnessed it told them how the possessed man had been saved. 

The entire population of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear. So he got into a boat and returned. 

The man from whom the demons had come out begged to remain with him, but he sent him away, saying, “Return home and recount what God has done for you.”  The man went off and proclaimed throughout the whole town what Jesus had done for him.  Luke 8:26-39

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