Summary: THE DESIRE FOR POWER IS OFTEN THE DOORWAY FOR THE DEMONIC. These men couldn't be bound by chains but they were certainly bound by Satan. They were almost completely under the control Satan, enslaved to him.
Part 15 - Matthew 8:28-34 - AN UNHEALTHY DESIRE FOR POWER
My daughter and son-in-law once lived in Parramatta in Sydney, quite near an old cemetery. It had historic significance for Sydney and was protected, I think, by the national trust. It angered me when it was vandalised. A part of our history destroyed! I could take the broken bottles and rubbish around the site and the neglect of the years, but not the vandalism - broken headstones and graffiti. It just didn't seem right that a gang of youths perhaps had damaged property of such historical value. The people of the Gadarenes had similar problems.
Matthew 8:28 (NLT) says "When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area."
Imagine trying to conduct a graveside funeral with these guys around. They would scare the crowd to death. You would need police guard just to conduct it with some kind of dignity. The other gospels say that the townspeople tried to restrain them in a staightjacket made of chains. THE CHAINS WEREN'T STRONG ENOUGH TO HOLD THEM! You may think you can control demonic power but you cannot.
Today we have other methods of restraint - drugs, psychotherapy, isolation, shock treatment but it seems to me that no-one can adequately help a demonised person by trying to restrain him or drug him or shock him. Only Jesus can help someone who has opened themselves up to demonic influence.
THE DESIRE FOR POWER IS OFTEN THE DOORWAY FOR THE DEMONIC. People involved in the martial arts are encouraged to seek the inner power of Chee. I believe that seeking that power can expose them to the demonic. I am willing to hear your thoughts on this. These men couldn't be bound by chains but they were certainly bound by Satan. They were almost completely under the control Satan, enslaved to him.
When Jesus controls someone He enriches their lives and enables them to be all God intended. When demons control someone's life their personality is sucked dry and they are left wanting. THEY CAN'T EVEN SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES. Notice in this passage that the demons speak through these men.
They know who Jesus is and recognise His authority. Demonised people have ACCESS TO DEMONIC KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY WOULD NOT NORMALLY HAVE. I'm sure CLAIRVOYANTS receive knowledge from demonic sources and of course we live in a society where horoscopes are the norm. It seems playful and harmless to try to gain knowledge from a mystical source and interpret our world through what someone has predicted about us. It is not so playful if such games are played with demons, knowingly or unknowingly.
The bible is clear. MEDIUMS OF ANY KIND ARE TO BE REJECTED! Leviticus 19:31 (NLT) says "Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God."
I am to consult God for wisdom about my life, not those instructed by demons.
Many people seem to think that knowing that Jesus is the Son of God is enough, but belief in Christ goes deeper than that. Even these demons recognised that Jesus was the Son of God. Matthew 8:29 (NLT) says of the demons that "They began screaming at Him, "Why are You interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God's appointed time?"
DEMONS KNOW AND FEAR JESUS. It seems that they are fearful of punishment. Luke says they were fearful of being cast into the Abyss. They knew Jesus was the "Son of God", but they refused to recognise Him as Lord. James 2:19 (NLT) says "You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror." Later the men who now were under demonic control would also come to recognise that Jesus was not only the Son of God but also Lord, the One in whom we can entrust our lives. We can come under His authority to rule our lives as they were intended. All peope come under authority of some sort, but we can choose who will rule our lives.
THESE DEMONS KNEW THAT JESUS HADN'T COME TO TAME OR REFORM THEM. HE CAME TO CAST THEM OUT. Notice that demons don't like being cast out.
"There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. So the demons begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs." Pigs were considered to be unclean animals for Jews. DEMONS ALWAYS GO FOR THE UNCLEAN. The pig herders were probably selling these pigs to the Gentiles on the black market.