Friday, February 26, 2010

Witness at Home

Luke 8:39
(39)  "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

(39)  Ὑπόστρεφε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου, καὶ διηγοῦ ὅσα σοι ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν καθ' ὅλην τὴν πόλιν κηρύσσων ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς.  

This may be one of Jesus' toughest teachings.  At least it can be for me.  This is addressed to the Gerasene demoniac after Jesus cast Legion into the herd of pigs.  This man was understandably very excited to be free from this demonic oppression.  He wanted to go and follow Jesus.  Jesus instead told him to go back home and tell what had happened.  This man was obedient.

So why is this so hard?  We know from earlier studies that a prophet is without honor in his hometown.  Yet Jesus told this man to go back to his hometown.  I don't know what effect he had on the people, but I can tell you from my own experience that I have not had much success with this so far.  I have told my family all that Jesus has done for me and they think I'm a nut, even those who claim to know Him.  That is discouraging, but it shouldn't stop me from being faithful.

On a side note, I think that this verse gives us some insight into Christology.  Jesus told the man to διηγοῦ ὅσα σοι ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός.  God is the clear subject of that clause.  It was God who did things to the man.  So what did this man do?  He κηρύσσων ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς.  What is the subject of that clause?  Jesus.  This gives us one of two options.  Either the man was mistaken in thinking that Jesus is God or Jesus really is God.  It's hard to think that Luke would let such a grave heresy go without comment, doesn't it?  Therefore, I think it's safe to assume that Luke is equating Jesus with God in this narrative.

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