TEXT: Matthew 8:28-34
28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
As we return to this passage, we are going to take a close look at the circumstances surrounding the demon-possessed men who met Jesus after He and His disciples landed on the Gerasene shore.
The first thing we notice is that they were “coming out of tombs.” These demon-possessed men lived in a graveyard. Of all the places the demons could have driven these men to live, they felt most comfortable among a symbol of their father, the devil’s greatest scheme — the introduction of death into the human race. This element of their environs highlights the ultimate work of the devil in our own lives — his path always leads to death. Jesus said the devil comes only “to steal, kill, and destroy.”
Demon-possession, or any other work of the devil, always leads to spiritual death and can often lead to physical death. Ultimately, we all die as a result of sin — that thing which Satan introduced into the world. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.” Those who are under the most severe cases of demonic influence can be said to be trapped in a living death. The demon-possessed men had no life of their own. Their bodies were only being used to do as the devils pleased.
Then, we notice that these demon-possessed men are cut off from the their fellow-man. The Greek word translated as “fierce” means harsh or savage; a person who is hard to approach. The demons had driven these men out of their cities, away from their families, and into the graveyard. No doubt, in those early days after their possession, mothers came and offered food; fathers came and pled with their sons to control the darkness inside them; sisters, brothers, friends came and said, ‘Remember me? Remember when we did this together? Come back to us!’
But the devil always drives away and creates division. He steals lives and destroys family ties. When we look at the world today, we see demonic influence still at work in this manner. Fathers and mothers killing their spouses and children. Neighbors killing neighbors on a mass scale. Random acts of violence that further entrench mistrust and hatred. However, Jesus came into the world to undo death and break down the divisions that had arisen not only between man and God, but between man and fellow man. No one else had been able to reach these two demoniacs; the town and their families had given up on them as a lost cause. But Jesus’ arrival on the Gerasene shore brought hope and light to the darkest of circumstances.
Bernard of Morlaix wrote:
The world is very evil,
The times are waxing late,
Be sober and keep vigil,
The judge is at the gate.
The judge who comes in mercy,
The judge who comes in might,
Who comes to end the evil,
Who comes to crown the right.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.