Ross' rendition of Mark 5:1-20, the encounter with the Gerasene
demoniac, conveys visually the startling nature of this passage.
When we read the pitiful descriptions of the Gerasene
demoniac, once bound in chains and now residing among the tombs, screaming about the legion inside of him, it's hard not to think of mentally ill people we've seen wandering city streets, shrieking out their madness inconsolably.
Though all are invited to new life in Jesus, Luke shows that not all want to accept the invitation, Again, it is the sinners and outcasts who quickly and easily recognize Jesus; here, the Gerasene
demoniac, upon seeing Jesus, immediately demands, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God?" (Luke 8:28).
The incident of exorcism with which it begins recalls earlier encounters with the demonic, above all Jesus' cleansing of the Gerasene
demoniac in Luke 8:26ff.
They always leave the scene defeated, sometimes, as in the case of the Gerasene
demoniac (Mark 5:1-20; Matt.
Jesus himself is "exorcised" twice in the New Testament, once by the high priest (Matthew 26:63) and once by the Gerasene
demoniac (Luke 8:26-40).
"Get up" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])--Jesus uses the same words he uses with so many others as he completes the process of healing them from their diseases (to a leper in 1:44; to the paralyzed man in 2:11; the Gerasene
demon-possessed man in 5:19; the woman with the flow of blood in 5:34; the Syrophoenician woman in 7:29; the blind man in this same chapter, 10:52)--"Get up.
Later in the narrative, Jesus casts out the many unclean spirits from the Gerasene
Demoniac, who then desires to go with Jesus.
What does the Gerasene
demoniac portrayed in the Gospel of Mark have to do with someone who has endured severe sexual and/or physical abuse?
The healing of the Gerasene
demoniac (5:1-20) is one example.
We encounter "The Vernacularization of Scripture and African Beliefs: the Story of the Gerasene
Demoniac Among the Ewe of West Africa", by Solomon K.
The depiction of the young man in 16:5 is also reminiscent of the Gerasene
demoniac living in "tombs" who upon being delivered by Jesus is found sitting there "clothed and in his right mind" (5:15).