The Story of Gerasene Demoniac

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The story of the Gerasene demoniac sticks out in the minds of a casual reader of the Gospels. Jesus steps out of a boat and immediately comes upon a demon-possessed man dwelling in the tombs. Jesus casts these demons into a herd of pigs. They all die. The villagers quickly beg for Jesus to leave their region. Over some time, scholars have studied the differences in the Gospels. Each Gospel writer has purpose for including certain passages of scripture to convey their meaning. Taking this into consideration, what is each Gospel’s purpose for story of the healing of the demoniac?
Literary Context
The story of the Garasene demoniac is one which shows the power and authority of Christ. Each Gospel uses this story specifically and very intentionally. To properly understand the intention of each Gospel writer in including and excluding elements of this story, a grasp of this passage’s literary context in each Gospel is necessary.
In Matthew, this event occurred relatively early on in Jesus’ ministry. He had already given his sermon on the mount, but he had not yet called his twelve disciples. Chapter eight consists of Jesus performing miracle after miracle after miracle. On the heels of giving his sermon on the mount, Jesus heals the leper. Then, Jesus commanded the leper to tell no one about what he had done to heal him. Next, Jesus healed the centurion’s servant after seeing his great faith. Jesus continues to heal and also drives out evil spirits. Jesus made it clear to his followers that his way will not be easy. The passage prior to the demoniac is one of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. For each Gospel, this story is immediately before the story of the Garasene demoniac.
Mark and Luke have similar...

... middle of paper ... and the growth thereof. One might consider the demoniac as Christianity’s first missionary. Thus, this passage contains a sort of ‘mini’ Great Commission and Jesus first gives his passion for Gentiles.
This paper has discussed the meanings and intentions each Gospel writer attached to the passage of the healing of the demoniac(s). Because of its condensed nature, the story from Matthew appears to be showing the power of Jesus’ acts of healing. Since Mark and Luke were both likely written to Gentiles, they demonstrate the power of Christ over evil in conjunction with Jesus’ message of salvation to the Gentiles. Like many passages of scripture, the interpretation of this pericope digs deeper than the surface. Literary and cultural context was taken into account and an appropriate understanding was deduced to strengthen this story of Jesus’ mighty power.
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