Saturday, June 18, 2022

Second Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 7


Luke 8:26-39

The exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac

1                   Away from us!” the demon cried
    When Christ, the Lord, drew near.
“Our dark, disordered world is lost
    When You, the Light, appear

2                   But Jesus spoke with God’s own pow’r;
    “Come forth!” was His command;
For evil cannot bear the Light
    Nor sin the Truth withstand.

3                   O risen Christ, God’s living Word,
    To us, we pray, draw near.
Come, speak the truth that cleanses sin
    With love that conquers fear.

4                   Drive out the doubt that cripples faith;
    Expel our pride and greed
That we, from pow’rs that threaten us,
    May, by Your grace, be freed.

5                   Then help us, Lord, to greet each day
    With hearts and wills made new
And, when You call us forth to serve,
    To rise and follow You.[2]

A sick and suffering slave. Next, a dead man. Followed by a prostitute. Now, today, a lunatic controlled by demon possession.  Luke piles one story on top of another showing how Jesus is willing to inclu9de those who are seen as contaminated and corrupted. They are the unclean.

Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes which is opposite Galilee.”  This is the only account in Luke where Jesus travels to Gentile territory. “When Jesus had stepped out on land, there me him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.”

This nameless man had been exiled to the margins of human existence. He’s filthy. Naked in public. He can’t control his speech. He’s so violent that people can’t come near him. All attempts to restrain him have failed. He exhibits the most common form of self- harm even today; self-mutilation. He suffers from demon possession.

The maniac is untouchable. The people of the town had decoded that he was good for nothing. His uncontrollable rages brought them00 to drastic measures. They put him in chains and chained him among the dead; in the town cemetery. Where his roaring would bother the living less. And so, his community did what we still do today. They vanished the man to the safe and solitary margins of society.

The townspeople considered this man to be completely defiled and irredeemable. This possessed man had been expelled from the human race; no better off than an animal without clothing. Yet after his exorcism, his humanity is fully restored. He rejoins the human race “clothed and in his right mind. “

The demons who are invisible and limited in power; whose activities range from annoyance to harassment to destruction recognize Jesus.  When he say Jesu, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What has you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.’”

You believe that god is One, you do well, even the demons believe and shutter.” – James 2:19

The demons are powerful, dangerously powerful. But they plea to Jesus showing how they know that He is even more powerful. All the demons Jeus9s confronts have three things in common.

1.      They cause self-destructive behavior in the victim.

2.      The victim always feels trapped in that condition.

3.      They separate the victim from the normal live in the family circle.

Their goal is to destroy the most fundamental human institution; what the LORD first made in the Garden when He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable form him.” Satan’s aim is to dismantle and demolish the family.  His desire is the disassemble what God has joined together.

Satan robs us of joy and destroys peace. The effects of Satan’s grip is all about. We must admit that we are powerless against our addictions and vices. That our lives are unmanageable. Thus, someone more powerful; greater than ourselves must heal and restore us to sanity. Thus by the power of the Holy Spirit we turn to Christ who as promised to care for us.

When praying the Lord’s Prayer, we simply request “Thy Will Be Done.” What is meant by the words “Thy Will Be Done?”

What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die.

This is His good and gracious will.[3]

My name is Legion!” this homeless man screamed. “For we are many!” Yes, Jesus arrives on the scene to prove once again that He has the power and authority stronger than Legion. The swine, in horror at their own corruption by unclean spirits, run to the edge of the cliff. And when the herdsmen saw what had happened they fled and told those in the city and the country what had happened.

Notice it is not the victim or a small number of victims who go over the cliff. Rather it is the whole crowd of demons, two thousand swine possessed by demons. Normal relations are revered. The crowd should have remained on top of the cliff and the victim fall over. Instead, in this case, the crowd plunges while the victim is saved. The man has literally been healed. (Sozo) translated “Saved”, delivered, made whole. He is not only delivered and cured by his terrible burden but he is altogether healed and saved. 

At first he wore no clothes but then was clothed and in his own mind. He went from an animal life state to restoration as a rescued human being.

The Lord has taught us to pray, “And deliver us from evil.” We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor; and that in the end, when our last hour comes, 

He would grant us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this vale of tears to Himself into heaven.

We cannot generalize about what Jesus has his followers. Vocation is unique to the one called. Often it seems that we are called to do that which we don’t care to do. How unbelievable difficult it must have been for this demoniac to return to his hometown where he was so well known. 

People would have watched him carefully for a long time. He probably would not have married. Think about it. Not only had he been mad, but also his cure had caused the townspeople their living. How desperate must you be to be committed to someone of his reputation and past? When this healed, saved, delivered demoniac returned home he must have been extremely courageous indeed.

Notice that Jesus commands the man to go home and declare how much God had done for him. The man testifies however only to what he knew – “how much Jesus had done for him.”  The man told the truth as he had come to know it. There is great freedom and strength in speaking to what we know instead of pressing ourselves to say more than what we truly can. We are only given to speak concerning what we have seen and heard; a crucified and resurrected man who has changed the lives of those with which he encounters.

Jesus’ encounters with persons don’t always end cordial. In this instance, the town asks Jesu to leave. And who could blame them. If this is how the Savior confronts one, possessed and persecuted what might He do with you? But that the beautiful thing about the Savior. All of your burdens and demons he endured for you.

The request of this lone man and yours is one in the same; “now go and tell what the LORD has done.” That’s what it means to “gossip the gospel” simply tell your friends, family, neighbors, and collogues what Christ has done for you. You know the words so well.

What does this mean?

IN WHOM Do You Believe? I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord,

What has He done? Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil;

How did He do this?  Not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death,

And why did He do this? that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true. Therefore, it is in Jesus’ Name

Passive Sentences -10%
Readability-78.4% - -
Reading Level -5.1

[1] The exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac, New Testament, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1860 woodcut © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] Away from Us!" the Demon Cried, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100013721.
[3] From Luther’s Small Catechism © 2019 Concordia Publishing House,

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