Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 23: Year 2
AM Psalms 1, 2, 3; PM Psalms 4, 7: Micah 7:1to7; Acts 26:1to23; Luke 8:26to39
“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8: 38 and 39)
It seems that the many demons in the man only needed a biological host in order to live. So they asked permission to pass from the man to the pigs. Jesus grants them the permission. When they entered the pigs they immediately made the pigs go into the lake (Lake Galilee). This is the same body of water from which the fishermen caught their fish. Could not the spiritual demons then go into the fish? This then would be their cycle of life. For they would go right back to the people who caught the fish and it starts all over again. This is just my pondering.
I try to keep up with the actual accounts of Jesus actually inviting followers to follow him. I have 5: Simon and Andrew – Matthew 4:18 – 20; John and James – Matthew 4: 21 – 22; Matthew (AKA Levi) Matthew 9:9. I know we try to claim the twelve as it matches the twelve tribes of Israel. But we don’t have the actual recorded words of “come, follow me” for the remaining seven. There is also the Rich young man in Mark 10:21 -22 who was told to “come follow me,” but he rejected Jesus’ invitation because he wanted to keep his wealth.
Now we have one who asks to follow Jesus but Jesus says no. Jesus wants him to go back among his people and show what God can, and will, do. Of course he “went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him;” the point being made that “Jesus” and “God” are synonymous. We don’t get to follow this man as he proclaims our Lord Jesus among non Jews. But Jesus leaves hints about what’s going on. Jesus says in the Gospel of John “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)
The power and love of our Lord Jesus is witnessed by Jew and Gentile alike. All report in their communities about Jesus being Lord of all, the seen and the unseen (like demons). Jesus himself will return to his spiritual nature for all eternity. But he does not abandon us. The Spirit of our Lord Jesus is with us, leads us and guides us. Jesus still asks us to “come, follow him” and to “declare how much God has done for you”
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John