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.
This book, a re-issue of the 1999 edition, demonstrates that the way of life we call Christian is lived in relationships to others. Christian faith, understood as practical piety, calls for a life opened to the world at large, concerned for the "stranger" as well as for the neighbor. Sedgwick further emphasizes that the Christian life is grounded in the experience and worship of God. His work thus develops Christian ethics as "sacramental ethics," an ethic that has at its center a deepening encounter with God.
Written in a style accessible to non-specialists, this book provides teachers, pastors, counselors, and general readers with an ideal introduction to Christian ethics. It renews the topic of Christian ethics by showing readers that faithful moral living is achieved through the daily practices of grace and godliness.
The author first explores the foundations of Christian ethics as seen by both Catholics and Protestants, and then develops a constructive view of morality as a way of life. Taking into account the central themes of Christian ethics, he shows that effective piety is built on spiritual disciplines that deepen our experience of God: prayer, worship, self examination, simplicity, and acts of hospitality.