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Luke 8:35

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Luke 8:35, ‘…they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had done, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.’

In 8:27, we saw that this man was A) possessed by demons, B) without clothes, and C) dwelling among the tombs. Now we find him C’) sitting at Jesus’ feet, B’) clothed, and A’) in his right mind. The three descriptors are chiastically arranged around this man’s meeting with God in Christ (8:39). The first three depict the tortured existence into which he had fallen: his mind afflicted by spirits, his body stripped and shamed, and his home torn away from him so that he dwelt among the tombs. And yet—in anticipation of and ultimately enabled by His death and resurrection, whereby He is declared truly to be the Son, and so revelation, of the Most High God (v.28)—Jesus descends through storm and abyss to enter into this man’s grave, meeting him in the region of death ‘among the tombs’, and so raises him up to life. God in Christ enters as Sanity into this man’s madness, as Covering into his nakedness, and as living home into his homeless death.

These things are made clear by the second half of the chiasm that Luke employs on the other side of this man’s meeting with Jesus. Within the structure of the chiasm, the central changes to this man’s experience (C and C’) deal with his dwelling place. First we are told that he dwelt among the tombs; then we are told that he is found sitting down at Jesus’s feet. His dwelling, then, transitions from the tombs to the feet of Christ. Now, to sit at Christ’s feet is to be His disciple and to receive His teaching (c.f., Luke 10:39), thus the imagery here suggests that this man’s home has become the place of submission before Jesus as Master. This submission to Christ as Teacher and Master and Lord is implicitly contrasted with the living death of his previous dwelling among the tombs, such that sitting at the Lord’s feet becomes an image of spiritual life just as tomb-dwelling stands as an image for spiritual death. Yes, the life into which Jesus calls us—the True Home to which He gathers us—is the place of joyful submission before Him as Teacher and Lord and God.