With the exception of the passion narratives, those accounts of the last week of our Lord Jesus life on Earth as he was headed to the cross and resurrection, it is not often that several consecutive stories are told in the identical order in the differing Gospel accounts. Factual chronology seemed to be less important than the Evangelists’ theological considerations that were guiding their accounts. Consequently it is noteworthy that in all four gospels we find four consecutive stories told in exactly the same sequence; stilling the storm, the driving the demons into the pigs, the healing of the woman with the flow of blood and the raising of Jairus’ daughter.
Jesus calms storms. With his words – “Quiet! Be still!” – he not only calmed the wind but the undercurrents that kept them in motion. Little do the disciples realize that they are traveling headlong into yet another storm. They are moving from a natural storm to a supernatural one. We observe firsthand that Jesus can calm a tormented soul just as easily as he calmed a tempestuous sea. We may at times get caught in a natural storm that scares us. But all of us are in a supernatural storm and we need the attend to the Gospel for some help.
At that time, when Jesus came to the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met Him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have we to do to Thee, O Son of God? Art Thou come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged Him, “If Thou cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their neighborhood. And getting into a boat He crossed over and came to His own city. – Gospel according to St. Matthew 8: 28-9:1
Coming up Monday, July 13: The Jesus Prayer, Hesychasm for the rest of us.