28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, 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.

Matt 8:28-34 (NIV)

The divine power of Christ is yet again made crystal clear to us through our verses for today. Jesus not only possesses all power in heaven and on earth but under the earth as well – the keys of hell are His property. In
the Great Commission Jesus announces:

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matt 28:18 (NIV)

Paul also tells us in Philippians:

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:10-11 (NIV)

Here, we see also, the Prince of Peace – the restorer of our souls – bringing restoration to the souls of those sans peace. The devil had taken captive these poor creatures to do his bidding. They were so afflicted with demonic possession that no fleshly chains could hold them - violently destructive to themselves; violently destructive to others. The devil hurries flesh into sin and hurries flesh into ruin as well. That’s what Satan seeks to accomplish – bearing malice upon mankind, making flesh as unfit for human society as they are unworthy of it – seeking to make creatures the likes of him. But God, the all-powerful One, Whom the devil must answer to – provides unbreakable chains that can hold Satan’s minions work when the chains of man are powerless to help. Be aware, flesh is no match against the dreadful dealings of the devil. But be aware as well, Satan is no match for God – “One little Word shall fell him”.

There seems to be no limit to the depth of depravity of the human heart apart from the saving work of Christ on the cross. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure apart from the Lord Jesus. Flesh remains in a continuous battle with Satan, self and the world. Before Christ we were all spiritually insensible – the windows of our souls walled with darkest darkness. How dark is a soul apart from Christ! But thanks be to God for His indescribable gift of Christ Jesus, our Lord, Who came to restore us and set us free. He not only restores us, but is able to make up for the years “the locusts have eaten”. It is His desire to make us whole and complete spiritually lacking nothing. Remember, no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalms 23:3 (NIV)

I find it extremely interesting that the demons knew exactly Who Jesus was as well as possessed full knowledge of their subjection to Him. Though they spoke both defiantly and disrespectfully to the Master, they were aware He held authority over them. They knew Him, yet hated Him and were filled with enmity against Him having no desire for His rule over them. It is possible for men to call Jesus God’s Son and yet have nothing to do with Him. This should red flag us as the demons knew for certain Christ to be both the Son of God and all powerful yet they are demons still and not saints. James warningly tells us:

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. James 2:14-19 (NIV)

“Even the demons know, and believe, and confess Christ to be the Son of God, and yet they are demons still. It is not knowledge, but love, that distinguishes saints from demons.” Matthew Henry

Lastly, we are told that the Lord Jesus allowed the demons to enter the pigs. These swine promptly rushed off the steep bank into the lake and drowned. If they could not destroy the man, they would seek to destroy his goods. As God allowed Satan to inflict Job, so He here allows these 2,000 or so demons to inflict this herd of pigs. What an industrious enemy of God the devil is who loses no time in doing harm to God’s people. Oh that the children of God would lose no time in seeking to do what is good and right. Be assured, child of God, Satan is not allowed to do anything that will not eventually work for the believer’s good no matter how heinous the deed. There is always purpose in the pain allowed in the life of the child of God. The cross of Christ ever serves as our example of this.

“God does often, for wise and holy ends, permit the efforts of Satan’s rage, and allow him to do the harm he would.” Matthew Henry

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • I am no match for Satan. Satan is no match for God.
  • There is no limit to the depth of depravity in the human heart apart from Jesus.
  • The demons had and have full knowledge of Who Jesus was and is yet remain demons.