Tuesday, December 21, 2021
The Madmen and the Pigs
28-31 They landed in the country of the Gadarenes and were met by two madmen, victims of demons, coming out of the cemetery. The men had terrorized the region for so long that no one considered it safe to walk down that stretch of road anymore. Seeing Jesus, the madmen screamed out, “What business do you have giving us a hard time? You’re the Son of God! You weren’t supposed to show up here yet!” Off in the distance, a herd of pigs was grazing and rooting. The evil spirits begged Jesus, “If you kick us out of these men, let us live in the pigs.”
32-34 Jesus said, “Go ahead, but get out of here!” Crazed, the pigs stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned. Scared to death, the swineherds bolted. They told everyone back in town what had happened to the madmen and the pigs. Those who heard about it were angry about the drowned pigs. A mob formed and demanded that Jesus get out and not come back.
-Matthew 8:28-34 The Message
Jesus Sends Demons into Pigs
Verse 28: And when He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men confronted Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.
Verse 28 study: The region of Gadarenes is located southeast of the Sea of Galilee, near the town of Gadora, a significant city of the region. Gadara was a member of Decapolis. Independent government was inhabited mainly by the Gentiles, including the ten cities that explain the herd of swine. The Jews didn’t raise pigs because they were unclean and unfit to eat.
Demon-possessed people fall under the control of one or more demons. Demons are former angels who joined Satan in his rebellion against God and are evil spirits under Satan’s control. Demon possessed helps Satan to make people sin and have a destructive lifestyle. When Jesus confronts them, they lose power. The demons saw Jesus as God’s Son (8:29) but didn’t obey him. Believing is not enough for conversation of belief and devils (James 2:19).
Faith is more remarkable than belief. With faith, you accept Jesus and what he has done for you, and receive Him as the one and only who can save you from sin, and live by faith by obeying his commands.
Matthew said there were two demon-possessed men, while Mark and Luke said one. Mark and Luke only mentioned the man who did all the talking.
The Jewish ceremonial law says that men Jesus encountered were unclean in three ways:
- They were non-Jews, meaning they were Gentiles.
- They were demon-possessed.
- Lived in tombs.
Jesus helped them no matter their issues. We shouldn’t turn away anyone unclean or repulsive to us or violate moral standards and religious beliefs. We must realize that all humans are unique creation of God that needs to be touched by his love.
Verse 29: And they cried out, saying, “What business do You have with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
Verse 29 study: Revelation 20:10 tells us that the devil and his angels will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone at the end of the world. When the demons asked if Jesus had to come to torment them “before their time,” they showed they knew their ultimate fate.
Verse 30: Now, there was a herd of many pigs feeding at a distance from them.
Verse 31: And the demons begged Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
Verse 32: And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the pigs; behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.
Verse 32 study: When the demons entered the swine, they drove them into the sea. What the demons did showed their actions as destructive. Now, if they can’t destroy man, they will ruin the swine. Jesus’ actions showed the value he places on human life.
Verse 33: And the herdsmen ran away and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.
Verse 34: And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.
Verse 34 study: What is on the minds of the people. Why do they ask Jesus to leave? Their own gods don’t have control. Jesus couldn’t be controlled, contained, or subdued. They feared Jesus’ supernatural power, a power they had never witnessed. They were upset because of the swine they were about to lose. They weren’t happy about the deliverance of demon-possessed men. What are you concerned about? Property and programs or people? Humans are created in God’s image and have eternal value. It’s easy to value foolish things, investments and possessions. Even animals over human life. Wouldn’t you want Jesus to finish his work in you?
Judges 11:12; 2 Samuel 16:10; 19:22; 1 Kings 17:18; 2 Kings 3:13; 2 Chronicles 35:21; Mark 1:24, 5:7; Luke 4:34; 8:28; John 2:4
Amos 7:12; Acts 16:39
Sometimes we look at things differently than how we should see them. Father, I pray that we can look at the events the way you do. It is a time to rejoice when it is the time, a time to be sympathetic when the situation needs it, and never turn our backs to anyone who needs love. Let us be instilled with your love and patience. In Jesus’ name. Amen.