Saturday, February 4, 2012

Luke, Chapter 8: Jesus' Harem

Jesus and the apostles travel around preaching. Following them, and supporting them financially, are a number of women, including Mary Magdalene, a lady called Joanna, and another called Susanna.

As they travel around, people gather to hear, and what they hear is mostly confusing gibberish, which Jesus calls 'parables.' We've already seen the first one, about sowing seeds, back in Matthew. He repeats the confusing whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have (v. 18) which is supposedly about faith, but really makes him look like Michele Bachmann.

As he's talking, his mother and siblings show up wanting to talk to him, but he refuses, saying his family is already here. But fortunately, thanks to cherry-picking, we can ignore any knotty questions this incident might raise. Certainly most churches seem to.

Now we're on a boat, and Jesus goes to sleep. While he's asleep, a storm comes up and the disciples get scared and wake him. He rebukes them for their lack of faith.

When they arrive on the other side, a crazy, naked man starts screaming at them. Jesus casts the devils that are clearly causing him to act crazy into a herd of swines, which he then causes to run into the sea. Some locals see this, and they run off to the town to tell their tale. When they come back, they find the crazy guy is now dressed and acting sane. Oddly, this does not fill them with a sense of gratitude. Rather, they ask him to leave. The crazy guy asks to come along, but Jesus tells him to stay behind and spread the word.

When he comes back, the people are in a better frame of mind for some faith healing. First is a guy whose daughter is dying. Then a woman who bleeds constantly. When she touches Jesus, he feels his faith leave him and demands to know who touched him. She comes forward and is forgiven.

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