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Chapter 104 - The healing of the possessed
104,1. The tiny country or rather district we came to was inhabited by a small race known as the Gergenese or Gadarenes, which occupied the entire opposite length of the sea of Galilee.
104,2. When we had all stepped ashore there and were about to head for the small city of Gadara, situated on a rise some 6,000 paces from our landing place, there came running, from a hill topped by this city’s cemetery, opposite the town and along the seas, two naked men of a terribly contorted appearance, who were possessed by an entire legion of spirits, of such fierceness that hardly anyone could get through along this road because of them. Their dwelling place was the graves of the above cemetery. None could catch or shackle them with chains. Because even where a crowd of the strongest people managed to subdue them, putting them in heavy chains and shackles, the chains were broken instantly and the shackles rubbed to powder. They were on the hill and in the graves day and night, screaming dreadfully, and mightily beating themselves with the stones.
104,3. When these two became aware of Myself among the disciples however, they ran straight towards Me, falling down before Me and yelling: ‘What have we to do with thee, thou son of the most high?! Art thou come to torment us before the time?! We beseech thee by the most high not to torment us.’
104,4. But I rebuked them, saying: ‘What is your name, evil spirit, who torments these two as if they were one man?’
104,5. And the evil one cried: ‘My name is legion, for there are many of us!’
104,6. But I commanded the evil one to depart from these two. Instantly a vast number of evil spirits departed visibly from the two, in the shape of large, black flies, but pleading with Me that I would not drive them out of this district.
104,7. There was along the hills straddling the sea however a great herd of swine belonging to the Gadarenes, because this little race, consisting mostly of Greeks, ate the flesh of these animals, trading therewith mainly with Greece.
104,8. When the evil spirits spotted these pigs, they once again implored Me for their entering into this herd.
104,9. And when I acceded to their request, for reasons secret and concealed from the world, the devils instantly entered the pigs, some two thousand in all.
104,10. As soon as the devils had entered the swine, these animals ran up a hill which ended with a great cliff jutting into the sea, with a sheer drop of about three hundred yards, with all the two thousand swine properly storming into the sea, where it was very deep.
104,11. When however the shepherds who watched over the swine saw what had taken place with the possessed, they fled appalled, rushing into the city, telling especially their employers what took place down at sea.
104,12. The inhabitants of this little city took fright and one who like many in this city still was a pagan, placing much store by Jupiter and all the other pagan gods, spoke, saying: ‘Did I not tell you this morning: once the two tormented by the furies calm down, with the sea going strong beyond measure in spite of a bright sky, a god comes down and judgment follows, because the gods never come down to Earth from the stars without the rod and the sword. And we have it right here before us. The furies who tormented the two sinners first stir up the sea, as they were certain that a god would come down from above and drive them out of the two sinners. That they then threw themselves upon our swine in the form of black horseflies, storming these animals into the sea, is now clear to me as the sun in broad daylight! We have now no choice but to betake ourselves in all humility and remorse down to the god, probably Neptune or Mercury and beg him to soon leave this area again, for as long as a god tarries in a district of the Earth visibly, there can be no thought but of misfortune upon misfortune. Because, as said, a god never comes down to Earth from the stars without the rod, sword and judgment.
104,13. But not even with the most secret thoughts let any of us reproach him for the damage inflicted upon us, because that would be the end of us. For a long time now we have not brought the old gods a proper sacrifice, from which the foolish Jews held us back more than anyone else, by wanting to know everything better than us, and therefore an offended god took his own sacrifice. Thus it is. Therefore we must not allow even a thought of dissatisfaction to surface in us. But down we must go to greet him and then implore him to leave this district again at once.’
104,14. But quite a few Jews listened to this lecture as well and said: ‘You indeed consider us stupid, yet this thing we know more about then you. See, this your purported god is none other than either a Persian magician, or it is the renowned Jesus of Nazareth, of whom we already heard great things. But we otherwise agree with you that we should implore him to leave this area. Because such people never are a blessing for a country – this we know from the days of our prophets. Where God awakens certain people in some nation as prophets, the misfortune for such country is sealed.’
104,15. Thereupon the whole city got together and moved down to Me, leaving behind only a few sick. When the arrivals caught sight of Me and saw that I had a completely natural human appearance, they took courage to approach Me and although still fearful, stepped up to Me begging Me to leave their borders soon.
104,16. Some however studied the two whom they formerly had well known as possessed. Both were clad now and conversed with them intelligently, relating to them how I had freed them from their plague and how they immediately were clad by those who had come with Me. But none of this could diminish the fear, especially that of the pagans and they asked for nothing but My departure and no return.
104,17. And I acceded to their request and then said to Peter: ‘Friend, get the ship ready again at once, that we may leave this area as soon as possible.’
104,18. And Peter and his servants got the ship ready at once. But as I boarded the ship, the two healed hurried after Me, asking Me whether they could follow Me, because they would obtain no work or living in this city, and their relatives at home were bound not have to them, due to their great fear of them. But I turned them away in a friendly-earnest manner, saying: ‘Return to yours cheerfully, as they shall receive you with joy. But go and proclaim it to yours and to the entire region too, what great thing the Lord has done for you and what mercy He has shown you. And in this way you shall do greater good than by following Me now. Because in this area, where you are known by one and all, you are to bear proper witness and thus become useful to men. And people shall, as before when they still feared you, not let you starve.’
104,19. With that, the two healed departed as one man and eagerly did as I commanded them.
104,20. The two of them in a short time glorified My name not only in their native land, but in the 10 cities straddling the upper sea-coast too, everywhere proclaiming with much zeal what great thing I had done for them and the great mercy I had shown them. And many therewith believed on My name, generating much longing for Me in Jew and Greek alike.
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