Mt. 8:28-34 The Healing of Two Demon-possessed Men
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
Lu. 8 adds some more detail…
…This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was shackled with chains, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power.
30 “What is your name?” Jesus asked.
“Legion,” he replied—for the man was filled with many demons. 31 The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the Bottomless Pit. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons pleaded with him to let them enter into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission. 33 So the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake, where they drowned.
34 When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby city and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. 35 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, for they wanted to see for themselves what had happened. And they saw the man who had been possessed by demons sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet, clothed and sane. And the whole crowd was afraid. 36 Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 And all the people in that region begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.
So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. 38 The man who had been demon possessed begged to go, too, but Jesus said, 39 “No, go back to your family and tell them all the wonderful things God has done for you.” So he went all through the city telling about the great thing Jesus had done for him.
Verse 29 is the most misunderstood question in the entire New Testament! -- “What do you want with us, Son of God?”
Two men come out of the tombs—the place of rot, of death, of end—men with no future. They are filled with demons, who shudder at the mention of the name of Jesus!
- Yet they greet Him, acknowledge His authority and power, and beg for His mercy! (see vs29).
- Some distance away a large herd of pigs are feeding. And the demons beg to be sent into the pigs—Jesus orders it to be done, and the men are delivered from the demons, and the demons enter the pigs. The whole herd then rushes into the water and is drowned.
- Those tending them run into the town and report the whole incident. The whole town responds in agreement—by pleading with Jesus to leave!
What a contrast…
- While the demon-possessed men accept and acknowledge the presence and authority of Christ—the towns-people reject Him…
- The demon-possessed are willing to receive Him as Master, Lord, and King and the “normal” people of the town urge Him to leave…
- The men were so violent that no one could pass that way—until Jesus intervened—and the response of the general was ingratitude…
- Have you ever been rescued from rot, death, reached an end, had no future? Has God ever rescued you and then you were ungrateful for His answer?
- Have you had moments when you acknowledged His power and authority—then when the crisis was over, you shoved back into His box, until you need Him again?
- Have you cried out for mercy then not liked the answer—so you told Him to get out of your region, because He was cramping your style?
Remember the question asked by the demons while possessing the man? “What do you want with us, Son of God?”
4 Did you notice Jesus never answered them? Like tells us He did answer the man after he was delivered!
4 38 The man who had been demon possessed begged to go, too, but Jesus said, 39 “No, go back to your family and tell them all the wonderful things God has done for you.” So he went all through the city telling about the great thing Jesus had done for him.
Luke 17 (2½ years later)
11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; 13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. 15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? 18 “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” 19And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”
The men were delivered to be used!