Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
6. Thousand Devils Cast Out of Two Possessed Men
(Matthew 8:28-34)
28When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.29And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”30Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding.31So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”32And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.33Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.34And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region. (Mark5:1-17; Luke4:41;8:26-37;2Peter2:4; James2:19)


Jesus Christ is Lord over nature and over the devils as well, for they have no right to stay where the only one born of the Spirit of God comes in.
The spirits brought force in the deadly storm over Lake Tiberias to drown Jesus and His disciples before they could reach the shore. Jesus, while in the boat, rebuked the spirits hidden amidst the storm, shut up the rebels in the air and demanded absolute faith from His followers, that they recognized that the devils will find no right nor power in them.
Jesus traveled across the lake into the eastern region of the ten cities, which had received special privileges from the Roman authority. He wished to find rest there away from the pressing multitudes racing after Him and from the increasing persecution of the Jews.
The ten towns were not Jewish-cultured, for their people kept herds of pigs while the Jews considered them unclean.
On His way to the city of Gergesa, accompanied by His followers, He passed among the burial caves excavated in the rocks of the mountain. Two naked demon-possessed men came out of there. These men were so fierce that no one dared travel on that road. Many times they had been tied, but every time they easily broke the iron chains. Every body was afraid of the destructive and strong demons in these men.
Jesus did not speak any word when He was attacked by the demon-possessed men who stopped suddenly as the spirits in them recognized Jesus. A forceful cry uttered saying, “Why did You come to us before the time of judgment to torment us? We know You, You are the Son of God.” The devils, as quick as a flash recognized that the Son of the Almighty stood before them. The rays of His holiness pierced through them and condemned them. They realized they were damned to go at once to eternal damnation. They begged Jesus to permit them dwell, even thought for the time being, in the herd of swine present in the pastures near them. By this begging, they admitted Christ’s power over them, that without His permission, they could not even hurt a pig. This is comforting to everyone, that, though the devil’s power may be great, yet it is limited and not equal to his malice, especially that it is subject to the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, our powerful friend and Savior. Satan and his instruments can go no further than He permits; “I said, this far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop” (Job 38:11).
The devils proved their origin and caused the herd of 2,000 pigs to run into the lake and drown. When the men who had been taking care of the pigs saw what happened, they ran away into the town to the owners, to give an account of the event. They also told the owners of the pigs how the demon-possessed men were delivered. This drew all the people of the town together to see the unique miracle there. But when they saw Jesus with the two men sitting at His feet clothed and in their right minds, they were frightened at the holiness of Jesus and realized that nothing unclean can ever live in His presence. Therefore, they preferred their old culture and their relation with the unclean spirits and begged the HOLY ONE OF GOD to leave! Christ complied with their request and went away from them, for Christ will not tarry long where He is not welcome, nor abide with those that do not want Him to stay. Thus, He left them to the dominion of devils and demons according to their will and wish (Matthew 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).
We should not quickly say that a person is possessed by an evil spirit. However, if someone continuously rejects the divinity of Christ and His Sonship to his heavenly Father, or continuously hates the fact and truth of His being crucified, then can it be, that this person is collectively possessed by the spirit of antichrist (1 John 2:22-25; 4:1-5).
Some people live in a depressing atmosphere surrounded by unclean spirits and are seriously tempted by them. That can be the result of their previous contact with such spirits and of asking for their intercession, or because of their consulting fortune-tellers to know about their own future or to get a blessed marriage by the help of these spirits.
He who wishes to become free from the grip of evil spirits and from the binding of them, must confess all his sins before God and break off at once every relation with these destroying spirits. Then he should turn to Jesus, the Son of God, who forgives sins and overcomes every unclean and wicked spirit, for the sake of His holiness and eternal power. Christ will pour out the Holy Spirit into the heart of the forgiven, that He might be comforted and strengthened. When the one that is freed from devils reads continuously the Word of God in the Gospel, keeps the words of Christ in his heart, joins in spiritual meetings and prays together with the Lord’s servants, the once possessed will become completely and decisively free from all the spirits. As long as he remains in fellowship with Christ and is committed to follow His instructions and commandments, he will stay free!
An objector said, Matthew 8:28 mentions that when He had come to the other side of the lake Tiberias, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs; whereas Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:28 mention that there met Him only one man with an unclean spirit.
We answer that Mark and Luke mentioned only the one that was more violent in whose cure the power of Christ became evident. This is apparent from their statements where his violence and fury is mentioned in detail to show the greatness of the miracle their master wrought in curing him. The cure of the other person was of less interest and was therefore not emphasized by them.
Let two persons go into a lunatic asylum and meet two insane persons. They would very likely give the same account that Matthew and Luke do, in different ways, and no one would doubt the statement was correct though one teller mentions only one insane person and not the other, while the second teller mentions both. Can we say that their words are contradictory? No, but if one of them proved what the other negated, or vice versa, it would have been contradictory. In this case, the definition of contradiction is realized. But thanks to our Lord! The possessed one was freed of his bondage. Jesus set him free!

Prayer
O Holy Father, we rejoice and exult for the victory of Jesus over the devils in the country of the Gergesenes and the freeing of the possessed from their evil spirits. We thank You for freeing every demon-possessed or insane person in our day in the name of Christ. We glorify You because You deliver us from the evil one and his instruments and keep us save in fellowship with Christ. Lord, please pour out Your Holy Spirit into them and us that we abide in You, protected by Your eternal name. We ask You, our Lord, to free all the demon-possessed in our surrounding, that the kingdom of Your only Son may be glorified.
Question
What did you learn from the freeing of the demon-possessed on the other side of the lake Tiberias?