A HEALING OF TWO DEMON-POSSESSED MEN AT GADARA – Homily By Metropolitan Jonah on the 5th Sunday of Matthew

( Biblical Readings: Gal 4:22-27 , Mt 8:28-9:1 )

“When Jesus arrived at the other side, in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 They shouted: What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time? 30 At some distance from them, a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus: If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs. 32 He said to them: Go! So, they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region! 9:1 Jesus got into the boat and went across the lake back to His own town”. 

It is the 5th Sunday lesson from St. Matthew the Evangelist. We can compare this passage to Mk 5:1-7 and Lk 8:26-37. The Gospel of today emphasizes the fact that, while our Lord God continues the sustenance of us, in many miraculous ways (visibly and invisibly), most of us as human beings, continue living with a despising attitude towards the revelation of God to mankind and to ourselves individually.

With His elected disciples, the Lord Jesus Christ spreads the Good News of salvation, through the establishment of the kingdom of God, the Ekklesia. Now, around the sea of Galilee, they are in another town, Gadara, almost 40 kilometers south from Capernaum. From Gadara town, someone had to cross the River Jordan, to reach at Nazareth, a distance of 40 kilometers again.

Although Evangelist Mark and Luke report one demon-possessed man, in this town, but Evangelist Matthew reports two demon-possessed men, who are healed by the power of the Lord. Human beings we are on inherited struggle with the demons, evils and all sins. With the assistance from the Lord Christ, we can entirely defeat all kinds of demons, evils and sins. The people of Gadara town (Mt 8:34), like many Jews and most of the people in the world, do value much more their own material properties and gains, instead of their deliverance from the demons, evils and sins, through faith to the Lord, and other Christian virtues! Ro 10: 2,4,5,9 “set free” 2 Pe 3:16.

Besides the problems faced by the human beings from the demons, evils and sins, in addition, humans we are faced also with the problem of illness or sickness, said to be caused by various diseases during our living in this physical world. Generally speaking, most of our ailments in this world are due to physical mistakes (accidents), and others are due to spiritual mistakes, which are commonly characterized as sins!

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