Gerasenes (Lk 8:26-8:26)

“Then they arrived

At the country

Of the Gerasenes,

Which is opposite Galilee.”

 

Καὶ κατέπλευσαν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus and his disciples sailed down (Καὶ κατέπλευσαν) to the country of the Gerasenes (εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν), which was opposite Galilee (ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:1, as well as Luke here, have Jesus cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  They went to the country or region of the Gerasenes.  Matthew called it Gadarenes, while Luke called it Gerasenes, like Mark.  This might be one of two different towns on the east bank of the Jordan in the Decapolis territory, a group of 10 cities.  One was called Gadara, about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais.  The other Decapolis town was called Gerasa, a town about 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee, which would be more inconsistent with this story.  Nevertheless, this was Gentile territory with only a few Jewish people there.  Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip, to one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory.  Have you ever traveled to an area where they had different religious beliefs than you?

The man with leprosy (Lk 5:12-5:12)

“Once,

When Jesus was

In one of the cities,

There was a man

Covered with leprosy.

When he saw Jesus,

He bowed

With his face

To the ground.

He begged Jesus.

‘Lord!

If you choose,

You can make me clean.’”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας· ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν, πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ λέγων Κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς, δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.

 

Luke said that Jesus was in one of the cities (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων), but without naming it.  There was a man there fully covered with leprosy (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας).  When he saw Jesus (ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν), he bowed with his face to the ground (πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ).  He implored Jesus, calling him Lord (λέγων Κύριε).  He said that if Jesus would choose (ἐὰν θέλῃς) to help him, he had the power to make him clean (δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι).  This was similar Matthew, chapter 8:2, and Mark, chapter 1:40.  However, here the man was fully covered with leprosy, but the request was the same.  Mark, like Matthew said that a leper was begging Jesus, as he knelt before him.  Then he said that if Jesus wanted to, he could make him clean.  This leper was asking Jesus to make him clean, so that he could join normal Jewish society again.  He knew that Jesus had the power to do this, since many prophets had cured lepers.  Leprosy was some kind of skin disease that was usually found among poor people.  Today, there are about 2,000,000 people with leprosy or Hansen’s disease, mostly in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.  The Greek word “λέπρας” used here is a broader definition of leprosy than just Hansen’s disease.  Leprosy was a Jewish religious problem also.  What to do about it was clearly defined in Leviticus, chapters 13-14.  Leprosy in the wide sense was considered unclean and had religious connotations, since only a priest could declare a person clean, with a distinct ritual for cleansing the leper.  As a leper, they were considered unclean and not fit to live in normal communal life.

Preach the gospel (Lk 4:43-4:43)

“But Jesus

Said to them.

‘I must proclaim

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

To the other towns also.

I was sent

For this purpose.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι Καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαί με δεῖ τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς) that it was his duty (με δεῖ) to proclaim or preach the good news (εὐαγγελίσασθαί) about the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) to the other towns or cities also (ὅτι Καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν).  He was sent for that purpose (ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην).  There is something similar in Mark. chapter 1:37-38, but there was no explicit message about proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.  Mark simply recounted that Jesus said to his followers that they were going into the nearby neighboring towns or villages.  Thus, he could proclaim or preach his unspecified message there.  That was what he came to do, since it was time to get to work.  Jesus had to move on to the other nearby towns and villages to proclaim his message.

Jesus heals people (Mk 6:56-6:56)

“Wherever Jesus went,

In villages,

Or cities,

Or country farms,

They laid the sick

In the market places.

They begged him

That they might touch

Even the fringe

Of his cloak.

All who touched it

Were healed.”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις ἢ εἰς ἀγροὺς, ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας, καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται· καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 14:36.  Mark seems to emphasize the various places that these sick people were coming from.  Mark said that wherever Jesus traveled (καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο), whether in villages (εἰς κώμας), in cities (ἢ εἰς πόλεις), or in country areas or farms (εἰς ἀγροὺς), they were placing or laying those ailing or sick people in the public market places (ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας).  They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν) to touch the fringe or the tassel of his clothing (ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται).  Everyone who touched him was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο).  These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus.  They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch.  They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat in order to be healed like the woman with the excessive blood flow.

Jesus goes to Gerasenes (Mk 5:1-5:1)

“They came

To the other side

Of the sea,

To the country

Of the Gerasenes.”

 

Καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:28, and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, as well as Mark here, have Jesus cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης) to go the country or region of the Gerasenes (εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν).  Matthew called it Gadarenes, while Luke called it Garasenes, like Mark.  There were 2 different towns on the east bank of the Jordan in the Decapolis territory, a group of 10 cities.  One was called Gadara, about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan.  The other Decapolis town was called Gerasa, a town about 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee, which would be more inconsistent with this story.  Nevertheless, this was Gentile territory with a few Jewish people there.

The reward for the slave with two talents (Mt 25:23-25:23)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:19, where the nobleman said that this 2nd trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 5 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 2nd diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This 2nd slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording is exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents in verse 21.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.

 

The reward for the slave with five talents (Mt 25:21-25:21)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:17, where the nobleman said that the trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 10 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 1st diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This first slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).