Jesus frees a demon-possessed man
26 Jesus and his disciples sailed to the Gerasenes’ land, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a certain man met him. The man was from the city and was possessed by demons. For a long time, he had lived among the tombs, naked and homeless. 28 When he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down before him. Then he shouted, “ What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me! ” 29 He said this because Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had taken possession of him, so he would be bound with leg irons and chains and placed under guard. But he would break his restraints, and the demon would force him into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, “ What is your name? ”
“ Legion, ” he replied, because many demons had entered him. 31 They pleaded with him not to order them to go back into the abyss.t32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, 33 and the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who tended the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and told the story in the city and in the countryside. 35 People came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully dressed and completely sane. They were filled with awe. 36 Those people who had actually seen what had happened told them how the demon-possessed man had been delivered. 37 Then everyone gathered from the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave their area because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and returned across the lake. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged to come along with Jesus as one of his disciples. Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “ Return home and tell the story of what God has done for you. ” So he went throughout the city proclaiming what Jesus had done for him.
Balm for Gilead expands our understanding of the role of the Black Church as an agent of care and reconciliation for African American families experiencing the results of child and domestic abuse. Crossing the disciplinary boundaries of pastoral care, theology, and ethics, this book provides a major examination of core issues of family violence.
The authors maintain that the contemporary Black Church must provide more extensive professional and ethical training and education for its pastoral care givers through a multisystems approach to effective forms of ministry for African American families. Using case studies from individuals who have experienced abuse or who struggle with the reality of domestic violence, Balm for Gilead identifies and explores theological and ethical themes that are crucial for understanding and revitalizing the pastoral care of African American families who suffer because of child and domestic abuse. Illuminating the dynamics of abuse in these families, and challenging the silence and helplessness surrounding their pain, this cross-cultural work will have a profound effect on all whose lives have been touched by this social and personal evil.
Balm for Gilead is indispensable for pastoral leaders whose ministry and profession is often the only hope of healing and reconciliation available or acceptable of African American families.