Year B, Proper 5 - An Evil Spirit Driven out
Year B, Proper 5:
Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry: Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit
This magnificent miniature from the famous book of hours Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry depicts how Jesus drives out an evil spirit. The French Duke John of Berry commissioned this richly illuminated book around 1410. It was in part made by the brothers Van Limburg from the Dutch town of Nijmegen.
It is remarkable what a large role the struggle against the devil and his demons plays in the first chapters of Mark’s Gospel. Here we see Jesus in action in Capernaum.
The man possessed by an unclean spirit is shown dirty (impure) and with torn clothes. He convulses and someone needs to take a firm hold of him as the black devil leaves him. He looks at Jesus and surrenders himself to him, while Jesus liberates him authoritatively from his tormentor.
A boy runs away in fear. The other bystanders react critically and look repulsed, except for the one worshipping man to the left and behind Jesus. Is he, perhaps, the Duke of Berry?
Scripture readings: Genesis 3:8-15, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1, Mark 3:20-35