Summary: When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by two men who were under the control of demons. There is only one Devil, so a better translation is demons. They were horrible looking and dangerous.
East Shore of Galilee
Lesson: Gadarene Demoniac Healed
-Matthew Chapter 8-
28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
Jesus and His disciples have landed in an area that today is known as Gadara. The people who lived here were from the tribe of Gad. Back in the Old Testament, we find that this tribe chose to stay on the wrong side of the Jordan River, when the land was being divided up. They eventually went into the pig business, in spite of Jewish laws against having anything to do with pigs. Why did they do it? Well, once you disobey the Lord, the next step of disobedience is not so difficult. In time, they were living outside the will of God, and they were no different than the Gentiles who lived around them
When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by two men who were under the control of demons. There is only one Devil, so a better translation is demons. They were horrible looking and dangerous.
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
I believe that those miracles involving demons were the greatest that Jesus did, because they entail a battle with Satan and his underlings. It is difficult for us to understand how important these encounters were, because we don’t understand demons and their mission and activities. At this time, when Jesus was on earth, demon activity increased as Satan reacted to the manifestation of the Son of God.
The demons immediately recognized the Lord and they reacted in fear, proclaiming that He was the Son of God. If only men could have recognized Him and received Him as the Savior. We can tell from their statement, “Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” that they knew their final state, and that Christ had the power to do what ever He wanted to them.
30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
For some reason demons need a body to torment, and they would even accept an animal, if they couldn’t have a man. So they ask Jesus to send them into a nearby herd of swine.
32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
I believe that they made the swine run into the sea, and they all drowned. But a comparison can be made to mankind-you could say that the pigs would rather die than to have demons possess them. Mankind is different. Many people are demon-possessed today, but they are labeled insane or fanatic. No one today would call a mass murderer like Hitler “demon possessed”, but I think he was. Demon activity was at its peak during the time of Moses, Elijah and Christ. Today we see demon activity increasing, and there are evidences of it around us. However, many instances of it are difficult to pinpoint, and we need to be wary of saying, I believe so-and so are demon possessed. Nevertheless, we need to be on guard against such people.
33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
They asked Jesus to leave, because they wanted their pigs more than they wanted Jesus. This attitude is not peculiar to the Gadarenes; there are people today who prefer their “pigs” to the Lord Jesus Christ. By pigs I mean, their weekends, their hobbies, their jobs, their sports and such.
-Mark Chapter 5–
1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
Our Lord had taught on the other side of the sea and He was tired, so He crossed the sea for a brief break from the crowds and their demands.
2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
What did Jesus see? He saw “a man”. Regardless of the man’s condition, Jesus saw a man. He was in a desperate condition, but he was still a man.