And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.
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Ambrose of Milan
But the devils could not endure the clearness of the light of heaven, as those who have weak eyes can not bear the sun's rays.
Now although the number of those healed by Christ is different in Luke and Matthew, yet the mystery is one and the same. For as he who had a devil is the figure of the Gentile people, the two also in like manner take the figure of the Gentiles. For whereas Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, andJaphet; the family of Shem only was called to the possession of God, and from the other two the people of different nations were ere descended. He (as Luke says) had devils long time, inasmuch as the Gentile people was vexed from the deluge down to our Lord's coming. Buthe was naked, because the Gentiles lost the garment of their nature and virtue.
Or what hat are the bodies of the unbelieving but kinds of tombs in which the word of God abides not?.
They are carried violently down, for they are reclaimed not by the contemplation of any good deed, but thrust as from a highe...
Whereas Matthew says, that there were two possessed, but Mark and Luke mention only one; you must understand one of them to be a more distinguished and famous person, for whom that neighborhood was chiefly distressed, and in whose restoration they were greatly interested. Wishing to signify this, the two Evangelists thought right to mention him alone, concerning whom the report of this miracle had been most extensively noised abroad.
The words of Mark that there was aherd of swine nigh to the mountains, and of Luke, on the mountains, do not differ from one another. For the herd of swine was so large, that they might be part on the mountain, part nearit. For there were two thousand swine, as Mark has stated.
He abode in no house, that is, he had no rest in his conscience; he dwelt among the tombs, because he delighted in dead works in his sins.
Now that he was bound by brazen fetters and chains, signifies the harsh and severe laws of the Gentiles, by which also in their states offenses ...
For Geraza is a famous city of Arabia, on the other side of the Jordan, close to the mountain of Galaad, which was possessed by the tribe of Manasseh, and not far from the lake of Tiberias, into which the swine were cast headlong.
He inquires not his name as ignorant of it, but that when the demoniac had confessed the plague which he endured, the power of the Healer might shine forth more welcome to him. But the priests also of our time, who through the grace of exorcism are able to cast out devils, arewont to say that the sufferers can no otherwise be cured than by openly telling in confession every thing which either waking or sleeping they have endured from the unclean spirits, and above all when they imagine that the devils seek and obtain the possession of the human body. So also here the confession is added, And he said, Legion, because many devils were entered into him.
Now mystically; Gerasa signifies the Gentile nations, whom after His passion and resurrection Christ visited i...
And they arrived at (sailed over to) the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
Gadarenes. Gergesenes (S. Matt.), or as it is written in some MSS, Gerasenes. Some think that one and the same place is here signified, but Adricomius shows that Gadara, and Gerasa or Gergesa were two distinct cities, but that the surrounding country was named indifferently after either.
The Vulgate translates "the country of the Gerasenes," because this was the best known name.
In great misery and nakedness, he wandered among the graves of the dead. He was in utter wretchedness, leading a disgraceful life. He was a proof of the cruelty of the demons and a plain demonstration of their impurity…. Whoever they possess and subject to their power, at once they make him an example of great misery, deprived of every blessing, destitute of all sobriety, and entirely deprived even of reason. Some say, “Why do they possess people?” I answer those who wish to have this explained that the reason of these things is very deep. Somewhere one of his saints addressed God by saying, “Your judgments are a vast abyss.” As long as we bear this in mind, we will perhaps not miss the mark. The God of all purposely permits some to fall into their power. He does not do this so that they may suffer but that we may learn by their example how the demons treat us and may avoid the desire of being subject to them. The suffering of one edifies many. Commentary on Luke, Homily
Now his going naked among the tombs of the dead was a mark of demoniacal wildness. But God permits some in His providence to become subject to evil spirits, that we may ascertain through them of what hat kind the evil spirits are towards us, in order that we may refuse to be made subject to them, and so by the suffering of one many may be edified.
Mark here the combination of fear with boldness and great desperation, for it is a sign of devilish despair to spear; out boldly, What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God most high? but of fear when they pray, I beseech you not to cast me out. But if you know Him to be the Son of God most high, you confess Him to be the God of heaven and earth, and of all things that are contained in them. How then cost you make use not of your own but His words, saying, What have I to do with you? But what earthly prince will altogether endure to have his subjects tormented by barbarians? Hence it follows, For he had commanded the unclean spirit to ...
Here St. Matthew relates the history of the two demoniacs, whilst St. Mark and St. Luke speak only of one; but the man mentioned in these two evangelists, was a man of some consideration and consequence, for whose cure the country was deeply interested. (St. Augustine, de concord. evang.)
Certain evil spirits imitating the heavenly hosts and the legions of angels say that they are legions. As also their prince says that he will exalt his throne above the stars that he may be like to the Most High.
But as soon as our Lord had departed from the sea, He meets with another more awful wonder. For the demoniac, like an evil slave, when he sees Him confirms his bondage, as it follows, And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man
Or, Luke selected from the two the one who was most savage. Hence he gives the most melancholy account of his calamity, adding, And he wore no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. But the evil spirits visit the tombs of the dead, to instill into men that dangerous notion, that the souls of the dead become evil spirits.
But because the people acknowledged Him to be man, the devils came publishing His divinity, which even the sea had proclaimed by its calmness. Hence it follows, When he saw Jesus he fell down before him, and with a loud voice said
Therefore since no one could hold the possessed, Christ goes to him and addresses him. It follows, And Jesus asked him, saying, What is your name? .
But when the Lord had...
Now the Lord ordains for each class of sinners an appropriate punishment. The fire of Hell unquenchable for fleshly burnings, gnashing of teeth for wanton mirth, intolerable thirst for pleasure and revelry, the worm that dies not for a crooked and malignant heart, everlasting darkness for ignorance and deceit, the bottomless pit for pride. Hence the deep is assigned to the devils as to the proud, it follows, And there was there an herd of swine
Which indeed the devils demand, wishing yet longer to mix with mankind.
They feared lest they should again suffer some loss, as they had suffered in the drowning of the swine.
For as one who had been tried by experience, he feared, lest perhaps when far from Jesus he should again become the prey of evil spirits. But the Lord shows him, that though He is not present with him, He can protect by His grace, for it follows, But Jesus sent him away, saying Return to your own house, and show how great things God has done for you. But he said not, “how great things I have done for you,” giving us an example of humility, that we should attribute all our righteousness to God.
See how the demon is torn between two wicked passions: impudence and fear. When he says, What have I to do with Thee? he shows the impudence of a shameless slave; when he says, I beseech Thee, he shows his fear. He was dwelling among the tombs because he wanted to instill in men the false suspicion that the souls of those who have died become demons. The demons ask not to be cast into the abyss, but that they be permitted to remain a while longer upon the earth. The Lord permits them to remain upon the earth so that they might fight and contend with men, and thus render men tested veterans. If man had no adversaries, there would be no struggles and contests; and if there were no contests, there would be no crowns of victory. There is a more spiritual sense which you should learn as well: the man who has demons within him and wears no garment and makes his home outside the house, is anyone who does evil and demonic deeds, who has stripped himself of his baptismal robe, and dwells outsid...
Many accurate copies have neither “Gerazenes” nor “Gadarenes,” but “Gergezenes.” For Gadara isa city in Judea, but neither lake nor sea is found at it, and Geraza is a city of Arabia, having neither lake nor sea near. But Gergeza, from which the Gergezenes are called, is an ancient city near the lake of Tiberias, above which is a rock hanging over the lake, into which they say the swine were dashed down by the devils. But since Gadara and Geraza border upon the land of the Gergezenes, it is probable that the swine were led from thence to their parts.
But the shepherds take flight, lest they should perish with the swine. Hence it follows, When they that fed them saw what was done they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country, and excited the like alarm among the citizens. But the severity of their loss led them to the Savior; for it follows, Then they went out to see what was done, and came to Jesus; and here remark, that while God pu...