26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. 34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
Exorcism is one of the important ministries that Jesus performed during his lifetime in the world. He displayed his passion to resolve the uncanny riddles in human life. Many a time with a reasoning mind, it is difficult to explain the exorcism because the cognitive impulses
become blurred in the world of mysteries. Mysteries in life are enormous because of the facts we believe and the perceptions and a partial truth. And the call to a Christian is to realize the fullest truth in grasping the eternity while living in a temporal world. The incredible power of God is beyond all human scales and generates a sense of breaking the barriers which dehumanize humans to attain his/her inalienable blessings of God.
The above text poses many arguments, and I would like to argue about this demon possessed man with following points. We need to understand the reason for his possession. “Possession” whether a choice or forced upon him is one of the arguments that sprouts in the analytical mind. Perse would have been forced to live in segregation, and that would have made him to be an anomalous person from the general stream. This man was naked and did not live in a house but in tombs. I feel it’s a symbolic representation of a state that one lacks his/her own self -realization when they have the ability to do so. A naked man can be mapped as the one who lacks respect for his own body. Even though we have different philosophies spinning around the world, normally in a modern view, clothes do give some status to the body. Specially in a caste ridden society the outcaste is denied to wear a top and denied to wear his/her own sandals. Thirdly, he lived in the tombs. We can interpret tombs as a symbolic representation of
segregated settlements in a casteist and racist world. I do understand this interpretation as a limit because some people like isolation. The key point is that when it becomes a choice it can be appreciated, but when it is forced on someone, then we need to challenge it. Because choice is one of the traits of freedom and freedom enhances one's self-dignity.
The text quite frankly tells us that Jesus travels from one shore to another to set this man free and transform the man to realize himself, respect himself and to live with self- dignity. Jesus calls us today to continue to help people to realize themselves. Defining who am I will be the first self in liberation. Defining the “I” must be relative and mutual. Everyone is in the image of God, and we need to restore that image to those who have lost it; that is our call. The human and mundane structures have collapsed the divine design of equality and liberty. The divine Jesus and his moral philosophy demands we restore human dignity to all for a decent life.
May God bless these words.