The demoniac from the tombs (Lk 8:27-8:27)

“As he stepped out

On the land,

A man from the city,

Who had demons,

Met Jesus.

For a long time,

He had worn

No clothes.

He did not live

In a house,

But in the tombs.”

 

ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὑπήντησεν ἀνήρ τις ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ἔχων δαιμόνια, καὶ χρόνῳ ἱκανῷ οὐκ ἐνεδύσατο ἱμάτιον, καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ οὐκ ἔμενεν ἀλλ’ ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν.

 

Luke said that as Jesus stepped out on the land (ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν), a certain man from the city (ἀνήρ τις ἐκ τῆς πόλεως), who had demons (ἔχων δαιμόνια), met Jesus (ὑπήντησεν).  For a long time (καὶ χρόνῳ ἱκανῷ), this man had worn no clothes (οὐκ ἐνεδύσατο ἱμάτιον).  He did not live in a house (καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ οὐκ ἔμενεν), but in the tombs (ἀλλ’ ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν).  All three synoptic gospels. Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:2-3, and Luke here, had Jesus travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  Mark, like Luke, said that Jesus met a man as he stepped out of the boat.  This person came from the tombs, where he lived.  No one could restrain him, even with chains, so that this was a strong violent possessed person.  Matthew had Jesus meet 2 people possessed by the devil, who were menacing people as they passed by.  They too also were coming out of the tombs.  These two demonic people were so extremely violent or fierce, that no one could pass by them on their way.  Only Luke, who had just one possessed man, said that this man was naked.  Does clothing matter to you?

 

Mary Magdalene (Lk 8:2-8:2)

“Some women

Who had been cured

Of evil spirits

And infirmities

Were with him also.

Mary,

Called Magdalene,

From whom

Seven demons

Had gone out,

Was with him also.”

 

καὶ γυναῖκές τινες αἳ ἦσαν τεθεραπευμέναι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν καὶ ἀσθενειῶν, Μαρία ἡ καλουμένη Μαγδαληνή, ἀφ’ ἧς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει,

 

Luke uniquely said that some women (καὶ γυναῖκές), who had been cured of evil spirits (τινες αἳ ἦσαν τεθεραπευμέναι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν) and other infirmities (καὶ ἀσθενειῶν), were with him also.  Mary (Μαρία), called Magdalene (ἡ καλουμένη Μαγδαληνή), from whom 7 demons had departed (ἀφ’ ἧς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει) was with him also.  This Mary Magdalene, who traveled with Jesus as one of his followers, probably came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  She was explicitly mentioned by name 12 times in the canonical gospels, more than most of the other apostles, indicating her importance.  She certainly was a key figure in the gospel stories about the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus apparently healed her in some way that is not indicated, since Luke said that 7 demons had been driven out of her, a statement that Mark, chapter 16:9, also said.  She helped support Jesus’ ministry, indicating that she was probably relatively wealthy.  This Mary was a central figure in later apocryphal Gnostic Christian writings.  She had a very popular following in the Middle Ages as the repentant woman.  In the late 20th century, she became more popular with her role in the play of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Jesus Christ Super Star” (1971) and Dan Brown’s novel and movie “Da Vinci Code” (2003 and 2006).  What do you think about Mary Magdalene?

The twelve apostles (Lk 6:13-6:13)

“When day came,

He called his disciples.

He chose

Twelve of them,

Whom he named apostles.”

 

καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα, προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα, οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν,

 

Luke said that when daylight or the day came (καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα), Jesus called his disciples (προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  However, he chose twelve of them (καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα), whom he named apostles (οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν).  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  These 12 had what was later referred to as apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established or picked out these 12 disciples to carry on his work.  The distinction was that disciples were learners or followers.  The apostles, on the other hand, were to be sent out on a mission to do something.  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 3:13-14, where Jesus called these special disciples, apostles, also.  Jesus called these 12 that he wanted to be with him.  They, of course, came to him.  Matthew, chapter 10:1, said that Jesus gave these 12 apostles authority to cast out unclean spirits just as he had done.  Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles to give them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases and illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness.  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 apostles.  This was a big deal.

The signs of the believers (Mk 16:17-16:17)

“These signs

Will accompany

Those who believe.

By using my name,

They will cast out demons.

They will speak

In new tongues.”

 

σημεῖα δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα παρακολουθήσει, ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν, γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς,

 

Only this long Mark addition has these comments about what the disciples of Jesus would be able to do.  This addition to Mark indicated that Jesus said that these signs (σημεῖα) would accompany (παρακολουθήσει) those who believed (δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα) in the name of Jesus (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου).  They would be able to cast out demons (δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν,).  They would also be able to speak in new tongues (γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς).  Certainly, the early Christians believed that these actions would be important among the followers of Jesus.  They would be able to cast out evil spirits and speak in tongues.

Jesus sends out the apostles (Mk 6:7-6:7)

“Jesus called

The twelve.

He began

To send them out

Two by two.

He gave them authority

Over the unclean spirits.”

 

Καὶ προσκαλεῖται τοὺς δώδεκα, καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο, καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων,

 

This section about the authority and mission of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:1 and Luke, chapter 9:1.  Mark said that Jesus summoned or called (Καὶ προσκαλεῖται) his 12 apostles (τοὺς δώδεκα).  He began to send them out two by two (καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο δύο).  He gave them authority over unclean or impure spirits (καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων).  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons, but there was no mention of curing diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness, just casting out the evil spirits that might have been the cause of their illnesses.  Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits to these 12 apostles.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jesus thus established these 12 apostles to carry on his work in casting out evil spirits.

The former possessed man wants to go with Jesus (Mk 5:18-5:18)

“As Jesus was getting

Into the boat,

The man,

Who had been possessed

By demons,

Begged him

That he might be

With him.”

 

καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον παρεκάλει αὐτὸν ὁ δαιμονισθεὶς ἵνα μετ’ αὐτοῦ ᾖ.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 8:38, while there is nothing like this in MatthewMark said that as Jesus was getting into the boat (καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον), the man, who had been possessed by demons (ὁ δαιμονισθεὶς) begged or entreated Jesus (παρεκάλει αὐτὸν) to let him go with him (ἵνα μετ’ αὐτοῦ ᾖ).  This formerly possessed man wanted to be a follower of Jesus with him.  This seems like a reasonable request.

The unclean spirits enter the swine (Mk 5:13-5:13)

“Thus,

Jesus gave them

Permission.

The unclean spirits

Came out.

They entered

The swine.

The herd,

Numbering about two thousand,

Rushed down

The steep bank

Into the sea.

They were drowned

In the sea.”

 

καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς. καὶ ἐξελθόντα τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ὡς δισχίλιοι, καὶ ἐπνίγοντο ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:32 and Luke, chapter 8:32-33, and Mark here, have Jesus cast out the demons into the herd of pigs nearby, with slight nuances in each story.  Jesus then accommodated or allowed what these evil spirits had wanted (καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς).  Then the unclean spirits demons left the demoniac (καὶ ἐξελθόντα τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα).  They entered the herd of pigs (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους).  This herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea (καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  Mark was the only synoptic to mention the number of pigs, 2,000 (ὡς δισχίλιοι), who were drowned or died in the sea (καὶ ἐπνίγοντο ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ).  There is one problem, pigs can swim, so that some might have survived.  Perhaps the unfamiliarity of these Jewish authors with pigs may have led to this harsh ending.  Anyway, the 2,000-pig herd with the unclean spirits ran into the sea off a steep bank and perished.

The Scribes claim that Jesus was possessed by Beelzebul (Mk 3:22-3:22)

“The Scribes,

Who came down

From Jerusalem,

Said.

‘He has Beelzebul.

By the ruler

Of demons,

He casts out the demons.’”

 

καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει, καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.

 

This is similar to Luke, chapter 11:15 and Matthew, chapter 12:24.  Beelzebul was an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies,” but had become another name for the devil or demons in early Christianity and late Judaism.  Mark said that the Scribes came down from Jerusalem (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες), and not the Pharisees, as in Matthew.  They said (ἔλεγον) or accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Beelzebul.  He had Beelzebul in him (ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει).  Thus, as the leader or ruler of the demons (καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων), he was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια).  Jesus was working with the devil, the leader of the demons, the ancient Canaanite god, Beelzebul.

Jesus appointed twelve apostles (Mk 3:14-3:15)

“Jesus appointed twelve.

They were to be with him.

He called them apostles.

He sent them out

To preach.

They would have authority

To cast out demons.”

 

καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα ἵνα ὦσιν μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν

καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια·

 

Mark explicitly indicated what the role of these special 12 apostles should be.  Quite often they are called the “12” instead of “the apostles”.  They had a dual function as apostles, since they were to preach and cast out demons.  Mark said that Jesus appointed 12 of his disciples (καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα) to be with him, called apostles (καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν).  He sent them out to preach (καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν).  They would have authority to cast out demons (καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια).  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits to these 12 disciples or apostles.  This would be referred to later as the apostolic authority.  Matthew, chapter 10:1, also said that they had the authority to heal people also.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.    Jesus thus established these 12 disciples as apostles to carry on his work of preaching and casting out or exorcising evil spirits.

Jesus taught in the Galilee synagogues (Mk 1:39-1:39)

“Jesus went

Throughout Galilee.

He proclaimed

The message

In their synagogues.

He was casting out

Demons.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων.

 

This was another of Mark’s summary statements.  Luke, chapter 4:44, has something similar, but Luke said that it was Judea and not Galilee.  Besides, Luke did not mention anything about casting out demons.  Matthew, chapter 4:23, is also somewhat similar.  Matthew implied that Jesus went all over Galilee, as he was teaching in their synagogues.  He said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom, without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  Here Mark said that Jesus went throughout the whole of Galilee (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), as he proclaimed or preached this unspecified message in their synagogues (κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν).  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish gathering place that might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  At the same time, Jesus was casting out demons (καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων).  Mark seemed very intent on emphasizing that Jesus was casting out demons along with his undefined preaching.  He gave the impression that this took place all over Galilee without mentioning any particular place.