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.
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Read an excerpt from this study below.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian who, in 1939, came to the United States for further graduate study at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Recognizing the threat that Hitler posed for Germany, Bonhoeffer decided that as a responsible Christian citizen, he must return to his own country. Despite pleas of friends to remain in the safety of New York, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany to become involved in the struggle against Hitler.
Within Germany, the general Protestant response was to focus on individual piety and to avoid conflict with the intimidating Nazi regime. There was, however, a Christian minority who recognized they had a responsibility to resist Nazism. Bonhoeffer became active in that resistance.
In addition to fulfilling pastoral responsibilities and engaging in courageous preaching, Bonhoeffer taught in an underground seminary. Although a pacifist, he became involved in an unsuccessful plot to assassinate Hitler. Even before the plot was discovered by the secular authorities, Bonhoeffer was arrested. Imprisoned for nearly two years, he was executed at Flossenbürg just days before its liberation by American troops.
During his imprisonment and knowing the likelihood of his execution, Bonhoeffer witnessed to his faith. He ministered to other prisoners and even to some guards. He also wrote letters that not only reflected his faith but also planted seeds for theological thought for decades to come.
What could inspire someone like Bonhoeffer to choose daring faith over comfort and safety? What source of strength enabled him to challenge a powerful evil regime and to minister under the shadow of the gallows?
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