Demons and Pigs
14 February 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 8:28-34 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They came out of the tombs and were so violent that no one could go through that area. 29 They began screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” 30 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. 31 So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. 33 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone. (Matthew 8:28–34 NLT)
The two demonized men had become a community problem! They lived in the hillside tombs but came out and terrorized travelers passing through on the road. When they saw Jesus they really got stirred up. The demons recognized who he really was, the Son of God! It’s interesting to me that his disciples (see yesterday’s devotional “Jesus Calms The Storm”) wondered who Jesus was, but the demons had no doubt whatsoever! It’s also interesting that the demons knew of an appointed time when they would be bound forever from tormenting humans, and they asked Jesus to let them enter a nearby herd of pigs!
Jesus permitted the demons to enter the pigs and the crazed pigs rushed off the cliff and drowned in Lake Galilee! The two men were healed, delivered, and in their right minds again, but the locals formed a mob and chased Jesus out of town. Perhaps a case in which the local pig farming economy was more important than the well-being of people God loves?
Here’s what this story is saying to me: Jesus always put the well-being of people above money and above his popularity. People were impressed by Jesus’ teaching and his miracles. He could have used that to his advantage, but never did. My ministry is for the benefit of others, not myself. What’s your lesson from this story?
Father, I want to always put people above things. That can make for some tough decisions. Help me and my friends to be faithful and true to what matters most! Amen.