The possessed man (Lk 8:29-8:29)

Jesus had commanded

The unclean spirit

To come out

Of the man.

Many times,

It had seized him.

He was bound

With chains.

He was kept

In shackles.

But he would break

The bonds.

He was driven

By the demon

Into the wild desert.”

 

παρήγγελλεν γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις συνηρπάκει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος, καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ ἠλαύνετο ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους.

 

Luke said that Jesus had commanded (παρήγγελλεν) the unclean spirit (γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ) to come out of this man (ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Many times (πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις), it had seized him (συνηρπάκει αὐτόν).  Thus, he was bound with chains (καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν) and kept in foot shackles (καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος).  However, he would break the chains or bonds (καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ).  He was driven (ἠλαύνετο) by a demon (ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου) into the wild desert (εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους).  Here in Luke, Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the demoniac.  Mark, chapter 5:8, also indicated that Jesus said to the demoniac that this unclean spirit should come out of this man.  Thus, Jesus spoke directly to the unclean spirit here also.  While Matthew, chapter 8:28, just said that these possessed men were wild people, Mark, chapter 5:4-5, had an elaborate description much like this in LukeMark said that this demoniac had often been bound or restrained with foot shackles and chains.  However, he tore up these chains and shattered his foot shackles into pieces.  No one had the strength to subdue him.  Constantly, all night and day, he was howling or crying among the tombs and on the hills or in the mountains.  He was cutting or bruising himself with stones.  This was not a pretty sight or a happy guy.  Have you ever met a crazy possessed person?

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Christian Sacraments

Christian sacraments have the power to enact what they symbolize.  These are outward signs instituted by Christ to be efficacious, to do what they symbolize.  The power of a ritual is more than the actual physical baptismal or sharing of the bread and wine event.  We remember and enact the experience of Jesus Christ.  This is not magic.  We do not need to be like a sports fan (fanatic) at a sporting event that goes crazy into the event.  Yet our involvement demands an expressing and deepening of the sense and experience of the mystery of God, as expressed in Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the sacrament of God.  His Christian Church is the sacrament of Jesus.  The individual Christian sacraments are the expression of Jesus and his Christian community.  The sacramental symbols of the Christian churches effect what they symbolize.  They do what they say they are doing in a special graced filled moment.

 

The punishment of Shemaiah (Jer 29:30-29:32)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came to Jeremiah.

‘Send to all the exiles!

Saying!

Thus says Yahweh

Concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam!

Shemaiah has prophesied to you,

Even though I did not send him.

He has led you

To trust in a lie.

Therefore thus says Yahweh!

I am going to punish

Shemaiah of Nehelam

With his descendants.

He shall not have any one living

Among his people

To see the good

That I am going to do

To my people.

Says Yahweh!

He has talked rebellion

Against Yahweh.’”

Yahweh then told Jeremiah to utter an oracle against Shemaiah. Jeremiah was to send this message to all the exiles. Shemaiah had prophesied to them without being sent by Yahweh. He led them to trust in his own lies. Therefore Shemaiah was going to be punished, including his descendents. None of them would see the good things that Yahweh had planned for his people. Shemaiah should not have talked rebelliously against Yahweh. He and his family would not see the return to Israel. Shemaiah had said that Jeremiah was a crazy man. Thus Jeremiah was now calling Shemaiah a false prophet.

A prayer for deliverance from enemies (Ps 56:1-56:4)

To the choirmaster leader, according to The Dove on Far off Terebinths, a Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath

“Be gracious to me!

O God!

People trample on me.

All day long foes oppress me.

My enemies trample on me all day long.

Many fight against me.

O Most High!

When I am afraid,

I put my trust in you.

In God,

Whose word I praise,

In God I trust.

I am not afraid.

What can flesh do to me?”

Psalm 56, has a reference to 1 Samuel, chapter 2l, when David was escaping from King Saul.  He went to visit the Philistine king at Gath where he pretended to be crazy.  This was the same theme in the acrostic Psalm 34.  This Psalm 56 was to be sung to the melody of “The Dove on Far-off Terebinths,” but we are not sure what it is about.  A Miktam is found here and in the next few psalms.  It may refer to some kind of percussion instrument.  David wanted God to be gracious to him.  All day long his many foes were oppressing him and trampling him.  However, David put his trust in God.  He was not afraid to praise God.  After all, what could mortal flesh do to him?  He was in fact trying to elude King Saul.