Summary: A sermon based on Matthew 8:28-34 (and other gospels) about the Gadarene Demoniacs. Sermon asks the question of why the whole city wanted Jesus to leave their region.
Sermon for 1/29/2006
Seinfeld episode where George breaks up with his girlfriend "It’s not you, it’s me." ~George. Before George can say his line, his girlfriend beats him to the line. "If it’s anybody, it’s me." I get this in our text. They don’t threaten Jesus with His life. They break up!
A. WE see in our passage that Jesus has power of the demons. From Matthew 8 we see that Jesus has power over diseases: the leper, the centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother in law. He has power over the winds and waves. He rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
B. Matthew mentions two but Mark and Luke only mention one. Mark and Luke do not say there is only one. It is obvious there was two--one being the main figure.
C. When a demon inhabits a person, the New Testament gives three areas where it can be seen
1. Physical problems
a. Insanity- Definitely the case here.
1) These two lived in the graveyard.
2) They were violent. Superhuman strength- (Mark 5:3 NIV) this man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. (Mark 5:4 NIV) For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
3) Police see this from time to time. Mind shuts off pain and gives superhuman strength.
b. Suicidal mania
c. Hurt their bodies. (Mark 5:5 NIV) Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
a. Corruption of the truth through false religion
b. Immorality- addictions to immorality that one cannot explain.
D. Can people be demon possessed today? From what we have just mentioned, do people who have these symptoms suffer from demon possession? The Bible makes it clear that these issues are spiritual in nature. We cannot be delivered from these problems without Jesus Christ.
E. However, to label people as demon possessed is not wise. When people in our society act insane, we lock them up in an institution for the insane and try to ignore them. Demons are wiser than that and they want people who are under the influence of evil to be out in society. Less sophisticated societies have some individuals that could be labeled as demon possessed, but in more sophisticated societies like ours it is not common.
F. Also, to understand the ins and outs of demon possession is not good. We don’t know a lot because this is related to the spiritual world.
G. No one could pass that way, vs. 28. No one dared go on that road from the seashore. Best way to get to this area was from the sea. I am sure these two hurt the local economy.
H. Much we could talk about but let’s start with the pigs. Around Galilee there were communities of Jews and communities of Gentiles. Obviously this is a community of Gentiles. Jewish people do not eat pork and they would never have anything to do with pig farming. Pigs were unclean.
I. Also, Mark 5:13 tells us that there were 2,000 pigs. Even in our day this is a large herd of hogs. Probably several people in town went together and owned this large of a herd. It was the town business!
J. Why did the demons want to go into the hogs? WE are not sure. Maybe they liked deviled hams. Demons hate all of God’s creation and if they can’t be in the humans at least they can be in the hogs and destroy them.
K. Why did Jesus allow them to go into the hogs and kill these hogs? One theory is that Jesus being a faithful Jewish man did not like hogs and was happy to see them die. This is silly! More reasonable is that Jesus was fine with them going into the hogs; at least they would no longer but in humans! But why let them kill all of the hogs! I think it was to point out something to us about mankind.
L. Matthew 8:34- What? Why did they want Jesus to leave?
Thesis: Let’s consider several reasons why the people of that city wanted Jesus to leave.
1. What else will this Jesus destroy?
A. I am sure the owners, the tenders of these pigs were not happy. Lots of money gone!
B. But he had healed two crazy people! No way, it hit them in the pocketbook!
C. (Acts 16:16) Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. (Acts 16:17) This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."(Acts 16:18) She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. (Acts 16:19) When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.