SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 8:28-34
Jesus encounters two demon-possessed men in the region of Gadarenes or Gergesenes. They would not let anyone pass. The demons recognized Jesus and asked him why he has come.
They then asked Jesus if he would drive them out into the herd of pigs. Jesus granted their request. The herd of pigs then rushed off a bank into a lake and drowned. This scene scared the shepherds. They ran off to tell everyone what they had seen. The whole town became scared. They told Jesus to leave their region.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 5: Matthew 8:28-34
13a) They two demonized men recognized Jesus and asked him why he has come and if he would torture them before the appointed time. They then asked Jesus if he would drive them out into the herd of pigs, which Jesus did.
b) They recognized that Jesus was the Son of God. James 2:19 tells us that even demons know that there is only One God — and they are afraid. They know they are doomed.
14) He took pity on the men.
15) Jesus’s actions scared the townspeople. Perhaps they thought he’d do the same to them. Jesus left because he knew they would not listen to him (Matthew 10:14).
16) It’s truly awe-inspiring and hard to put into words. It gives me hope to trudge along each and every day as I continually seek His purpose for my life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 5: Matthew 8:28-34
I love how Matthew throws in so many varied stories. We go from Jesus healing many people to him rebuking a storm and helping those who are demon-possessed. Great stuff.
I love Tomie de Paola!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 5: Matthew 8:28-34
The exact location of the region of Gergesenes (or Gadarenes) is unknown. Bible scholars believe it is located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galiee and was a small town where the larger city of Gadara was lcoated. Here, many Gentiles lived.
Do note the other Gospels tell this story, but only mention one of the demon-possessed men.
Any contact with dead bodies made Jews unclean. So these men who were coming out of tombs (presumably they were living there) were terrifying to the Jewish people.
Seeing Jesus, the demons knew their time was up. They knew they would be cast out and would suffer in hell forever.
Pigs are unclean to the Jewish people. Why they were there, no one knows. But it is the perfect place to cast out demons at that time. The demons wanted to possess the pigs rather than be left without something to terrorize. Note they had to get permission from Jesus in order to take over the bodies of swines.
Note that this is the only example of casting out demons into the bodies of animals. This may be where stories have come from of humans possessing animal bodies.
The demons were bent on killing, which is why they killed the pigs immediately. This proved, too, that the demons were now inside the pigs and not the men. Jesus wanted to ensure everyone knew this miracle had occurred.
One could say that the people could easily have been pleased that Jesus had driven the demons out of the men. Truthfully, it could have gone either way here. However, fear ruled, so the townspeople asked Jesus to leave. Plus, the destruction of the pigs cast doubt into the minds of those who saw. Would Jesus destroy them, too? This is exactly what Satan wants you to think. This is a message to us to be wary always.
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