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Summary: The Gerasene demoniac is a true story and not a parable with much to encourage us; there are even some funny features within, somewhere between a political cartoon and a graphic novel. Read on … and you will see the bizarre from beginning to end.

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1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a Psalm 42 and 43 Galatians 3:23-29 Luke 8:26-39

Summary: The Gerasene demoniac is a true story and not a parable with much to encourage us; there are even some funny features within, somewhere between a political cartoon and a graphic novel. Read on … and you will see the bizarre from beginning to end.

This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 20th June 2010: by Gordon McCulloch (A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Please join me in my prayer: In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit, let these be your words and not mine. Amen.

Our Gospel reading this morning comes from Luke chapter 8 verses 26 to 39: “Jesus and his disciples arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me" -- for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed.

Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 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”.

[Gerasene is pronounced “JER-uh-seen”]

1. Introduction:

Let’s look this morning to the story of the Gerasene (JER-uh-seen) demoniac. It is a true story and not a parable. The story doesn’t get a lot of attention in preaching these days, and that is a shame, because there is some really good “stuff” in here, and although it is a very sad story, it has some pretty funny features if you look at it from the right angle.


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