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?

 

The naked man (Mk 14:51-14:52)

“A certain young man

Was following Jesus.

He was wearing

Nothing

But a linen cloth.

They caught hold

Of him.

But he left

The linen cloth.

He ran off naked.”

 

Καὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ, καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν·

ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν.

 

This story is unique to Mark, so that much speculation has centered around whether this was Mark himself of someone he knew.  Anyway, the other gospel writers never mentioned this naked man.  Was he a follower of Jesus from nearby Bethany or a vagrant?  We do no not know.  Mark thought it was important enough to write about it.  He said that a certain young man was following Jesus (αὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ), perhaps indicating a follower of Jesus.  He was wearing nothing but a linen cloth on his naked body (περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ).  They, the crowd that came to arrest Jesus, caught hold of him or seized him just like Jesus (καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν).  However, he left his linen cloth behind (ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα), as he ran off naked into the night (γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν).  Apparently, no one followed him.

When did we not care for you? (Mt 25:44-25:44)

“Then they also will answer.

‘Lord!

When was it

That we saw you

Hungry?

Or thirsty?

Or a stranger?

Or naked?

Or sick?

Or in prison?

When did we

Not take care of you?”

 

τότε ἀποκριθήσονται καὶ αὐτοὶ λέγοντες Κύριε, πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα ἢ διψῶντα ἢ ξένον ἢ γυμνὸν ἢ ἀσθενῆ ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐ διηκονήσαμέν σοι;

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that these people on the left answered him by calling him “Lord” (τότε ἀποκριθήσονται καὶ αὐτοὶ λέγοντες Κύριε).  They wanted to know when was it that they saw him hungry (πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα), thirsty (ἢ διψῶντα), or as a stranger (ἢ ξένον)?  When did they see him naked (ἢ γυμνὸν), sick (ἢ ἀσθενῆ), or in prison (ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ)?  When did they not take care of him or not serve him (καὶ οὐ διηκονήσαμέν σοι)?  They could not remember seeing him in any of these conditions.

You did not take care of me (Mt 25:42-25:43)

“I was hungry!

You gave me

Nothing to eat!

I was thirsty!

You gave me

Nothing to drink!

I was a stranger!

You did not

Welcome me!

I was naked!

You did not

Give me clothing!

I was sick!

I was in prison!

You did not

Visit me!’”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ οὐκ ἐποτίσατέ με,

ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με, γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με, ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew, as he reversed the sayings about the righteous sheep against these goat people.  Here in a first person singular response, Jesus said that he was hungry and they did not give him anything to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was thirsty and they did not give anything to drink (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was a stranger or foreigner and they did not welcome him or take him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με).  He was naked and they did not give him any clothes (γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με).  He was sick and in prison and they did not visit him (ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  They had failed in the corporal works of mercy, not the legal following of the Mosaic Law.

 

When did we take care of you? (Mt 25:37-25:39)

“Then the righteous

Will answer him.

‘Lord!

When was it

That we saw you hungry?

When did we

Give you food?

When were you thirsty?

When did we

Give you something to drink?

When was it

That we saw you

A stranger?

When did we

Welcome you?

When did we

See you naked?

When did we

Give you clothing?

When was it

That we saw you

Sick?

When did we

See you in prison?

When did we

Visit you?’”

 

τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε, πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν, ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν;

πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ξένον καὶ συνηγάγομεν, ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν;

πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε;

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus then said that the righteous ones answered the Lord (τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε).  They wanted to know when they had seen him hungry and gave him food (πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν)?  When was he thirsty and they gave him something to drink (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)?  When was he a stranger and they welcomed him (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)?  When was he naked and they gave him some clothing (ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν)?  When was he sick (πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα)?  When was in prison (ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ)?  When did they visit him (καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε)?  They wanted to know when did all these activities take place?

You took care of me (Mt 25:35-25:36)

“I was hungry!

You gave me food!

I was thirsty!

You gave me something

To drink!

I was a stranger!

You welcomed me!

I was naked!

You gave me

Clothing!

I was sick!

You took care of me!

I was in prison!

You visited me!”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με,

γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με, ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με, ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said to the sheep on the right side that they had taken care of him.  He said that when he was hungry, they gave him food to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  When he was thirsty, they gave him something to drink (ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με).  When he was a stranger, they kindly took him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με).  When he was naked, they gave him clothes to wear (γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με).  When he was sick, they visited and took care of him (ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  When he was in prison, they came to visit him (ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με).  All of this was in the first person singular.  This sounds like the beatitudes mentioned earlier in chapter 5:3-11, but here they are more specific and personal.

The fourth curse against the Chaldean drunkards (Hab 2:15-2:17)

“Woe to you!

You make your neighbors drink!

You pour out your wrath,

Until they are drunk,

In order to gaze

On their nakedness!

You will be sated

With contempt,

Instead of glory!

Drink!

You yourself!

Stagger!

The cup

In Yahweh’s right hand

Will come around to you.

Shame will come upon

Your glory!

The violence done

To Lebanon

Will overwhelm you.

The destruction

Of the animals

Will terrify you,

Because of human bloodshed

With the violence to the earth,

To the cities,

To all who live in them.”

Habakkuk then cursed the Chaldean drunkards.  They made their neighbors drunk so that they would become naked.  They themselves would drink until they staggered around.  They used alcohol as a weapon and as a form of feasting.  Their glory would turn to shame.  They had been violent to Lebanon.  The destruction of animals would terrify them.  They had committed violence that led to bloodshed in the various cities that they had taken over.