here is the link for today’s reading: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=323935680
Demon named Legion 8:26-39
I am not 100% sure if I am accurate in the statement I am about to make, so if you’re up for it, double check my work. But at the very end of the passage, Jesus tells the man to go tell everyone about all God has done. I know in Mark, Jesus doesn’t want any of the healed people spreading any word of what has happened. But if I am remembering correctly, I think this is the first time he has told anyone to spread the word to everyone in the Gospel of Luke, although I might be wrong. What is certainly interesting is that the healed man wants to join Jesus, but Jesus seems to know he will be more effective as a traveling evangelist, indicating that there are multiple tasks within the kingdom of God.
More importantly though is that in many ways this passage deals with mental illness. Doesn’t the story of a man, wearing no clothes, insisting on living by the tombs, sound like someone one suffering from schizophrenia? Surely in Christ’s time, just as in today’s, mental health is particularly disheartening, because it can be so difficult to “cure”. It doesn’t surprise me that this is such an important event in the ministry of Jesus.
- Verse 31 says: “they begged him not to go down into the abyss” how do you interpret this statement?
- In the next verse, Jesus doesn’t order the demons to enter the swineherd, but rather gives permission. What might the implication be to mental health providers today?
- This passage seems to imply that Jesus had met this man before, and that the demons had come back (the first thing the man/legion does when he sees Jesus is to fall at his feet, seemingly before Jesus could say anything, even though the text says he rebuked the spirits). If this is the case, what are the implications of Jesus’ previously failed healing(s)?