March 7

Text: Matthew 8:31-34

And the demons began to entreat Him, saying, "If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine."  And He said to them, "Begone!" And they came out, and went into the swine, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.  And the herdsmen ran away, and went to the city, and reported everything, including the incident of the demoniacs.  And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they entreated Him to depart from their region. (NASB)

Jesus did something no one else had been able to do—he destroyed two uncontrollable, violent men who possessed a road.  He did not end their violence by killing them, but by separating them from what caused their violent behavior.

In this situation, their physical violence was produced by the influence of demons.  The demonic forces (1) recognized Jesus’ identity, (2) knew his superior power, and (3) knew their ultimate defeat.  They begged to take up residence in a nearby herd of pigs.  Jesus granted their request.  The result: the entire herd ran down a steep slope into the sea and drowned.  The demons were destructive in men and pigs!

The pigs’ herdsmen ran to the city to give a report.  Naturally, people came to see the results of what happened and the man who made it happen.  Violent men who were no longer violent, a herd of dead pigs, cast out demons, and the person responsible for the situations—what an unbelievable tale!

They came and saw.  The result: They begged Jesus to leave the area.  Violent men they could live with!  The possibility of dead herds of pigs was intolerable!  Economic considerations were more important than human violence!

Which is most important in your life—economics or evil influences?

Suggestion for reflection: Consider all these people lost because they begged Jesus to leave.  (Read 1 Samuel 8:7-9, 19-22.)

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