Jesus crossed the lake for me.

The 5th Sunday after Pentecost
Year C
Luke 8:26-39

The headlong rush of a herd of demon-possessed pigs down a hillside into the water attracts the attention of the village elders in a small community on the southeast corner of the Sea of Galilee.  They ask Jesus to leave their community - to get back into his boat and return to his side of the lake.  It's all too much. 
Our story began with an encounter between Jesus and a highly disturbed man who ran up to challenge him the moment Jesus got out of the boat.  From there the account got noisy - with shouts of defiance from the demons, the bit with the pigs and then some sort of argument with the local townsmen. 

If we had listened last week we might have seen a similar "shape" to the Gospel reading.  In last week's story an unhappy woman enters the room and conflict (or at least unsettling questions - depending on the version of the story) result.  Then, Jesus turned to Simon the Pharisee and said:  "Simon, do you see this woman...?" and ends with words of forgiveness directed to the woman.

In this week's story, once the pigs are gone and the noise dies down, both Mark and Luke refocus the attention of the reader upon the young man now sitting at Jesus' feet with his clothes back on and "in his right mind".  
"Do you see this woman?" asked Jesus last week. 
“Do you see this man?” Mark and Luke seem to be asking this week. 

What was reported by the city fathers, no doubt, was a story of social disorder and the loss of valuable livestock at the hands of a troublesome prophet from across the lake who had no business in this community.  What is explicitly reported, however, by the young man - now clothed and in his right mind - is that through the ministry of the man Jesus, God had visited an individual in his misfortune. 
Jesus crossed the lake for me.


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