Summary: The Lordship and Deity of Jesus are demonstrated in curing the Demon-possessed, as well as the promise of future judgment upon devils and deniers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We continue to look at the miracles and ministry of Jesus according to Matthew, in which Jesus demonstrates qualities and power that only God could possess.
The miracle of Matthew 8:28-34 is also recorded in Mark 5 and Luke 8. In those accounts, a single demon-possessed man is mentioned, but in Matthew there are two mentioned. This is not a discrepancy or error, but Mark and Luke mention the one who was most tormented, having broken free from the chains that had bound him. Mark and Luke tell us that the demon-possessed man’s name was “Legion” and there were 2,000 pigs in Mark who were destroyed at Jesus’ command to “GO”! I am going to refer to the man who was possessed in the plural.
Look at Matthew 8:28: “When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, (a principally Gentile region) two men who were demon-possessed (daimonizomai) met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. (a sepulchre, a tomb; comes from the word for memory: There were caves up on the mountain slopes that were off of a tributary near the Sea of Galilee.) They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.”
Matthew 8:29 “And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"
The Demoniacs Revelation
A. Now the first question that the demons posed to Jesus would be translated: “What (is there) to us and you?” What business does God and the devil have with each other? The demons clearly recognize that There is no peace accord between God and the devil. Jesus would demonstrate the sharp contrast between Light and darkness, between good and evil, and between God and the devil. There is no light in darkness and the devil and his hosts are never going to strike up a “business deal” with God. They are eternal enemies of God, and will continue to be so.
B. The fact that the demons recognized Jesus as the Son of God is a clear indication that they recognized Jesus’ Person. In warfare, the enemy is usually clearly defined; when the enemy is NOT defined, you have a problem defending yourself as well as attacking and confronting the opposition. The devils recognize Jesus as God, but do not honor Him as God, and they will come disguised as light in order to deceive and destroy, even the elect if possible. (We’ll look at that in the future, Lord willing, in Matthew 24:24: "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Believers and followers of Christ recognize, not only Jesus’ person, but also His Lordship.
C. The second question that the demoniacs asked is: “Have You come here to torment us before the time?" This is a crucial question which demonstrated that they actually recognized and FEARED Jesus’ Power and His Purpose. We looked at that word “torment” before (Basanizo), and I want you to hear all the meanings: “to test (metals) by the touchstone, to question by applying torture, to torture, to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to be harassed, distressed of those who at sea are struggling with a head wind”. The noun refers to eternal punishment.
The devil and his demons know that their time is short, and with the appearance of the Messiah, they realize it more than ever. The reason they use the words “before the time”, is that they know there has been an appointed day of reckoning. They know a day has been fixed by God, the day of Judgment, in which all DEMONS and DENIERS of the Lord Jesus Christ will be judged eternally to the hell that God has prepared for them.
Acts 17:30-31 could not be clearer: “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, He (God) has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man (Jesus) whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
D. The demons recognized Jesus’ First Coming and knew the inevitability of His Second COMING. In 1Timothy 4:1, it says: “But the Spirit (of God) explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” Demons recognize that their time is short and are STRIVING to deceive in every way possible. Believers, know that the time is short too, and they should be STRIVING to please God all the more and be diligent in spreading the Gospel all the more.