Saturday, 24 December 2011


Kursi has been a place of pilgrimage since the 5th century, as it is regarded as the place where Jesus met and healed the demoniac, sending the demons out of the demoniac and into a herd of pigs which then cast themselves over the cliff.

This is an interesting site out in the countryside with the ruins of a monastery there today. There was a little chapel on what was presumably the site of the cave where this person had lived. When we visited this site we were led in a reflection asking the question as to whether, just possibly, the prodigal son was the demoniac. This is pure speculation but is it just possible that the prodigal’s father asked Jesus to go looking for his son and, if so, this shows the lengths to which Jesus would go in order to look for someone. The link between the two stories is possibly the pigs, and it is certainly true that Jesus went out of his way to encounter this man.. Jesus found the demoniac who recognised him. How interesting that the demons often recognised Jesus before everyone else did. Jesus then asked the question “what is your name?” and the response came “my name is Legion”. This man has actually lost his name, has lost his identity, but Jesus restores him. It is an interesting question as to what a pig farmer was doing in a Jewish country - was this man smuggling hams across Galilee for those who would buy them? We don’t know, but possibly so!

At the end of the story the demoniac wants to stay with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to go home. The question arises as to where did Jesus get his stories Was, for example, the story of the prodigal son drawn from a real-life situation? Whether or not it has anything to do with the parable, Jesus certainly came a long way to find this man.

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