Can you answer some questions about the expulsion of the demons at Garasenes?


#1

Jan. 31st’s Gospel reading was about Jesus driving out demons from a man into 2000 pigs who thus ran into the water. What were Jews doing raising pigs? Did Jesus kill their economy by driving 2000 pigs into the water? Why else would they ask him to leave after his healing of the man? Any help would be appreciated.


#2

Your questions about this reading are all addressed in A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (p.914).

What were Jews doing raising pigs?

The people raising the pigs were not Jews. “The inhabitants of the territory east of the [Sea] of Galilee were mostly pagans… and, consequently unaffected by Jewish traditions or by the declarations of Mosaic Law, Lev 11:7; Deut 14:8, that swine were unclean animals”.

Did Jesus kill their economy by driving 2000 pigs into the water?

While we do not know precisely what impact this may have had on their economy, “[t]he loss which Christ permitted the demons to inflict on the owners of the swine should be judged in the same way as other material losses and afflictions which God permits for a higher purpose. The inhabitants of the district were rid of the malignant power of Satan, and were granted an exceptional opportunity of coming to recognize Christ…”

Why else would they ask him to leave after his healing of the man?

Sadly, “[c]onsideration of the loss which they had suffered outweighed even the evidence of the miracle”.


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