Apr 9 • 11M

Jesus cured two demon possessed men

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A new episode every weekday from Monday to Friday. Tony Silveira from Montreal, Canada. Short Bible Studies every weekday.
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Matthew 8:28-34

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. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”  Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 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. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Two or one?

The Matthew account mentions two demon-possessed men, while Mark and Luke only mention one. Is there a discrepancy in these accounts, and do the Gospel writers contradict one another?

It is unclear why they chose to mention only one, but that does not negate the possibility of a second demoniac being present

Mark and Luke do not say there was “only one” demon-possessed man. They simply state that one of the two met Jesus and spoke to Him

Context

After calming the storm on the Sea and impressing upon the disciples His Lordship over both wind and sea (8:23-27), Jesus and those who followed Him came "into the country of the Gadarenes,"

The country was Gadara, but the region was Gerasa on the northeast shore of the Sea, in the Gentile area of the Decapolis.

The demons

The demons that controlled the men had attacked them spiritually, physically, and mentally.

The demoniacs lived among the tombs, a graveyard of sorts

They cut themselves with rocks—indicative of devil worship—and walked around naked (Luke 8:27) which was the epitome of shame in Israel (cf. Lev. 18:6-19).

The pigs

The demons know who Jesus is. They call him the “Son of God”

The number of pigs isn’t mentioned in Matthew like it is in Mark 5:13 (“about two thousand”)

the herd is called large so that when the demons go out from the two demonized men into the herd and they all perish, we get the very clear sense of how big, how large, how serious these men’s bondage was, and how even this was no problem for Jesus.

Humanity Restored

The first amazing thing that happened is two demon-possessed men were now free, and their humanity was restored.

The second amazing thing that happened was a large herd of pigs was destroyed.

Jesus is triumphant over unclean spirits.

Jesus liberates the captive, and gives hope to hopeless people — even Gentile people.