Matthew 8:28-34 (NIV)
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes,[a] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
Jesus and his disciples just got to the other side of the lake. They witness Jesus healing people and calming the storm and lets not forget peaching so powerfully. Now they get to a new area of their ministry in the region of the Gadarenes. This place was believed to be home of the Gentiles, since there was people herding pigs. Jews didn’t raise pigs. To the Jewish people, pig are ceremonially unclean of all animals. We see right off, that Jesus is leaving his own people to an unclean people and most likely he wanted to preach the Gospel. That is why he came and that is his mission, to preach repentance. So he goes to an ungodly people to do it. These people where so ungodly, they might not have even had a God. If they did, then it would have been a false god.
When we read this story. We can be fast to notice that Jesus heals another 2 people. But we might be slow to notice a few other thing’s this story can teach us.
- The Demons know the word of God. See how in verse 29 the demons ask the question to Jesus about if he came to torture them before the appointed time. The demons knew that there is a Judgment day.
- We see the Mercy of God. The Demons ask for Jesus to send them into the pigs and Jesus said, “go”. This Holy God gave the request to them. Think about that. For me and you. We are sin and God is holy. If he is willing to allow the demons to receive something they want, wouldn’t God answer your request to? Ask Jesus and he has the power to say, “Yes”.
- The last thing we see is rejection. Two people heal. What a great miracle. Even at that, the town’s people beg Jesus to leave.
We can see so much more than just two people being heals. We see a spiritual world is out there. We see a spiritual war being dis-play. We see Jesus will win that war. Even when Jesus wins, people still choose to reject him. Mostly for their own benefits, people in this ton rejected Jesus. Fearing financial loss. Pigs were part of the financial system in some way there. The people fear of losing wealth and the way of life.
The 2 demonic possessed people where set apart of that way of life for a long time. Outcast of the way of life in the region of Gadarenes. So, when Jesus pops into the picture. Their eyes were not focus on themselves or wealth. They were focus on Jesus. In the story the Gospel of Mark write for us, these two men asked Jesus if they can travel with him and Jesus sent them to go preach in the region of Gadarenes. The main thing is where their eyes are at. Their eyes were not focus on wealth or their selves, but on following Jesus.
Mark 5:18-20 (NIV)
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[a] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
This week, something I like you to ask yourself is, “where are your eyes at?” Are you focus on Jesus or this world around us?
If you want to know Jesus and experience victory over death, then come to Jesus today and allow him to change your life. He change the lives of these two people in this story. He changed my life as well. I was gangster, now I’m a preacher. Who I used to be in no longer who I am today. Turn to Jesus. Commit to Jesus.