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Jesus Cures A Demoniac

  • International
  • September 4, 2012
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The second incident which Luke narrates is a typical day at Capernaeum. It’s a day which has its share of miraculous cures, healings and exorcisms.

In the ancient world evil, physical as well as moral, ultimately stemmed from a diabolical source. It is therefore not always easy to determine the exact nature of demonic possession. Luke however is convinced that the very presence of Jesus provokes a vehement confrontation between the superhuman forces of good and evil.

The man possessed of an unclean spirit is present in the synagogue, and senses in Jesus the presence of holiness and divine power. The demon therefore shrieks at Jesus, and attempts to control him by uttering his name. (In the ancient world, name equals personality, and to ‘know’ another’s name, is to ‘control another’s personality’.) Jesus silences the evil spirit and commands him to leave the body of the man, which is done immediately. The man collapses upon the floor, but is otherwise unharmed.

The cure utterly amazes the onlookers, who look at Jesus with eyes of awe and wonder. There is something in Jesus which is remarkable: he gives orders “with authority and power”. He teaches in the same fashion.

Not for the first time, do the ordinary people wonder, But who can this man be? Surely some kind of prophet?

As for Jesus, he always downplays the spectacular element in his healings, preferring rather that the one cured should now open himself to God’s word and grace.
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