Synopsis: This Sunday the 1st Gospel reading was about the Healing of the Demoniac of the Gergesenes, and the 2nd Epistle, for the Royal Martyrs of Russia, from Romans. A general principle of scriptural exegesis is that we must answer all questions! St Paul asks: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" and then gives a long list of things that will not separate us – tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or the sword. The demons who inhabited the man of the Gergesenes also asked a question :"What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?", and in so doing, together with the people of the Gergesenes, provided an terrible "answer" to Paul's question. Their reaction showed that how we react to Jesus is the only thing that can separate us from the love of Christ. These questions are of critical importance, and apply to us daily, moment by moment, whether we acknowledge them or not.
Matthew 8:28-9:1 28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. 34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. 1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
Romans 8:28-39 We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. * For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. * Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. * What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? * He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? * Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. * Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. * Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? * As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. * Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. * For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, * Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to sepa rate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/entecost-sunday-05_2011-07-17+what-have-we-to-do-with-thee,-jesus,-thou-son-of-god-and-who-shall-separate-us-from-the-love-of-christ+questions-that-must-be-answered_matthew8-28-9-1,romans8-28-39.m3u
If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/entecost-sunday-05_2011-07-17+what-have-we-to-do-with-thee,-jesus,-thou-son-of-god-and-who-shall-separate-us-from-the-love-of-christ+questions-that-must-be-answered_matthew8-28-9-1,romans8-28-39.mp3