Luke 8:26-39 (Proper 7)

The Gedarene Demonaic, KPB Stevens, mixed media on paper, 2022

Luke 8:26-39

They came to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. Jesus was stepping from the boat when he was met by a person from the town who was possessed by demons. The demoniac had not worn clothes for a long time, and was homeless, living among the tombs instead. Seeing Jesus, the individual cried out and fell at his feet, shouting loudly, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Only Begotten of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” — for Jesus was ordering the unclean spirit to come out of the person. This spirit had seized the demoniac many times in the past, who then needed to be restrained with chains and shackles and kept under guard—yet every time, the possessed person would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into deserted places. 

What is your name?” Jesus asked. 

“Legion,” it replied, because many demons had entered the person. And they pleaded with Jesus not to order them to depart into the abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding nearby on the hillside. The demons pleaded with Jesus to allow them to enter the swine, and he gave them permission. The demons left the person and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the hillside into the lake and drowned.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran away to tell the story in town and throughout the countryside. The local residents came out to see what happened. And as they approached Jesus, they also saw the exorcised person sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and of a right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had witnessed it told the others how the possessed one had been made whole.  Panic overcame the whole population of the region of the Gerasenes, and they asked Jesus to leave them. 

When Jesus had gotten into the boat to leave, the person who had been healed asked to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go back home and tell everyone what God has done for you.” So the one who had been made whole went off and proclaimed throughout the region what Jesus had accomplished.

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