Summary: Satan tells us this is just the way it is, we have to accept what he has for us. But Jesus has another option.
Passage: Matthew 8:28-34
Intro: Inertia is the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, or an object at rest to stay at rest, unless acted upon by a force.
1. some objects are easy, like this one:
PP Forrest Gump’s feather
2. others are a little tougher (Dave comes up to sit on the chair)
3. I’d have to exert a lot of force to move Dave off his chair.
4. I might be tempted to get a little help
PP flying man, blue chair
5. as much as you might want to see a wrestling match up here, I think we’ll ask Dave to take his regular seat…please?!
6. this passage of Scripture we are looking at here is full of inertia.
7. it is a powerful story full of action, the story of an invasion of incredible power, but almost invisible.
8. it is a story of centuries of inertia, and the power it takes to overcome.
9. it reveals how comfortable we can become in the misery of Satan’s lies.
10. if that was the end, we would have a very sad story.
11. but it is a story of the overwhelming power of Jesus to overcome the inertia in our life, apathy caused by lies
I. Satan Tells Us This is Just the Way It Is
1. Jesus and his disciples made it to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee
2. the area they had come to had been part of the original land grant to Israel, to those tribes that wanted to remain on that side of the Jordan
3. by this time, 1000 years after David, it was decidedly Gentile in culture and religion.
4. and when Jesus and his disciples landed, they got a rude reception.
5. two men, demon-possessed, with superhuman strength.
6. “so violent…” they had the local inhabitants terrified.
7. lived in the tombs, had staked that territory out for themselves.
8. and when Jesus and his disciples came ashore, these two did what they always did, but with a twist.
9. “idou”, suddenly, they went into intimidation mode.
10. Hebrew idiom, “what to you and us?”
Il) we would say, “What are you doing here?” “What do you want?” Not a welcoming statement.
11. and yet they also identify him as the Son of God, perhaps trying to gain power.
12. completely resistant to Christ and His message. Completely resistant to change in the lives of these two men.
13. “leave us alone! This is our territory!”
14. the demons know that they are defeated.
15. and yet they are under God’s permission for a time to do their evil work.
16. they will always resist the truth the tell people that this is the best there is, that the world of sin and death and futility and hopelessness with some carnal pleasures thrown in is the best they can hope for.
17. but when Jesus showed up, they know that their kingdom of lies is about the crumble. “This can’t be good.”
PP 1 John 3:8
18. no, Jesus says, that way it is now is not the way it has to be.
II. Satan Tells Us He has the Best Intentions for Us
1. Now the power is revealed in the words of the demons in v31
2. they assumed they would be cast out of these men, and there was nothing they could do to prevent it.
3. so they begged (continued to beg) Jesus to allow them to go into a herd of swine that were grazing nearby.
4. shows the non-Jewish nature of region.
5. scholars argue vociferously about these pigs, and why the demons wanted to go into them.
6. do they need something to inhabit?
7. but while the demons might have convinced these two men that they were giving them life, this event proved otherwise.
8. they asked, and Jesus gave a one word command, “GO” the only word He spoke.
9. so they “came out” of the men, and went into the pigs, and here is that word idou again!
10. “look!” The pigs rushed down the bank into the sea and died.
11. now we can argue about the motivation of Jesus to send these demons into the pigs.
12. but one thing is for sure. The formerly possessed men got an immediate and powerful lesson in the character of the Satanic forces. They are killers!
Il) Grudem quote, “Satanic or demonic activity always tends toward the ultimate destruction of parts of Gods creation and especially of human beings who are made in the image of God.”
13. they are destroyers! They are liars.
Il) look around at the world. Look at the lives of the people who have embraced the deception of the enemy of our souls. Their lives and deaths expose the nature of the one controlling them.