Wednesday 6 March 2013

"What have you to do with us?"

For the very first time, perhaps, a light on those mysterious passages of the gospel, where Jesus casts out demons. "If you who are evil..." - as I suspected, "evil" here is a merely human, all too human, way of thinking, and this, says Rossi de Gasperis, is diabolic.

Jesus enters the synagogue at Capharnaum and begins to teach there on the Sabbath (Lk 4:31-37). He speaks with authority - not for him citations from authorities as was the custom. Instead: "I say unto you." He is fully conscious of being the subject of the messianic "today" of his discourse at Nazareth. And his teaching causes the demons to come out. (Lk 4:33-34)

The unspiritual man cannot understand the things of the spirit; only the spiritual man can. (1 Cor 2:12-14)

To absolutize the political, the economics, the cultural - that is to fall into the trap of demonic possession, says RdG. And this is the point to be understood, grasped, accepted. A merely human way of thinking - we do not normally think of this as demonic, diabolic. But that is what RdG is saying. "If you who are evil..." 'Evil' here is far from being diabolic in the rather dramatic and perhaps Hollywoodian sense that we seem to be accustomed to. It is far more - banal, normal, everyday. And so absolutely easy to ignore. 

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