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and other senses, and tormenting them grievously. These persons were very miserable, and sometimes they felt their misery, but they could not escape from it. A strong man armed had taken each one of them for his palace, his dwelling-place, and it needed a stronger than he to overcome him and drive him out. But Jesus Christ was that stronger one. He had power to cast out the evil spirits with His word,
St. Luke, in chapter viii. 26-39, relates how He cast out spirits from a man who was possessed, when He landed from the boat after stilling the winds and the waves. We find the same history in St. Matt. viii. 28–34, and St. Mark, v. 1-20. St. Matthew's account forms part of the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany,
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when He went forth to land, there met Him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God most high? I beseech Thee, torment me not. (For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion : because many devils were entered into him. And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain : and they besought Him that He would suffer them to enter into them. And He suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind : and they were afraid.
They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought Him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and He went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought Him that he might be with Him: but Jesus sent Him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
St. Mark and St. Luke tell us of one man; St. Matthew tells us of two. Perhaps one was wilder and more dangerous than the other; perhaps he was better known in the country. Both were exceeding fierce; but one of them at least had had devils a long time, and he used to tear off his clothes and burst every chain with which they tried to bind him. These unhappy. men lived among the tombs, in some lonely place, such as the Jews always used for burying the dead. These tombs were either natural caves, or little chambers hewn out of the solid rock, and would give some shelter in bad weather and during the night.
The demoniacs saw the Lord Jesus landing from the boat, and ran to meet Him. He had just rebuked the wind and waves ;
now He rebuked the evil spirits, and commanded them to come out of the men. But the spirits cried out,
What have we to do with Thee, Jesus Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time? It was their joy to make men wretched, a torment to be kept from tormenting others. But they knew that a time was coming when they would be stopped from doing 80. They knew that they would not always be allowed to go to and fro on the earth, and walk up and down in it, but would be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. They did not dare to disobey the Lord Jesus; but if they must come out of the men in whose bodies they had lived so long, they begged Him not to send them to the deep, or hell. They prayed rather to enter into a herd of swine that was feeding near, upon the mountains; and our Lord gave them leave. The multitude of spirits was very great. We learn this from their name Legion, for a Roman legion contained 6,666 soldiers. They went into the swine, and the creatures rushed madly down the cliff into the lake and were killed.
This was all very wonderful; and the Gadarenes might well be afraid, but their fear was not of the right sort. It was not the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. They prayed Him to depart from them whose presence is life. They said unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.
And the Lord turned to depart. One of the poor men, however, prayed to remain with Him; but He did not think fit to allow it. He bade the man to go home to his friends, and tell them what God had done for him. The man did so, thus making known the greatness and goodness of the Lord Jesus, and winning for himself the blessing always given to obedience.
VI.-THE RAISING OF JAIRUS'
Our Lord had left the Gadarenes, and crossed to the western shore of the lake, landing most likely át Capernaum, where He dwelt at this time. While He was talking to St. John the Baptist's disciples, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came to beg our Lord to lay His Hand
his daughter, who was then dying, if not by that time dead.
Each synagogue, or Jewish house of prayer, had several rulers, and they were all men who were highly esteemed by their neighbours. The miracle which followed, together with another which took place while our Lord was on His way to the ruler's house, is related in St. Luke, viii. 41-56; and also in St. Matthew, ix. 18–26; and St. Mark, v. 22–43. St. Matthew's account forms the Gospel for the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity. It is the shortest of the three accounts. St. Mark's is the fullest; while St. Luke, the beloved physician,' tells it as physician would be likely to do.
And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue; and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house; for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as He went the people thronged Him.
And a woman, having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, caine behind Him, and touched the border of His garment : and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter, and they that were with him, said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?' And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people, for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, .
While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to Him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to