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.
Earlier in this passage, we saw where Jesus cast devils out of many people who were brought to Him in Capernaum. That one-verse mention was an overview that described the reality of demon-possession in the first century. Now, in the verses that we are looking at today, we have a close-up view, a front-row seat to two very real men who were possessed by very real demons and who experienced very real deliverance through Jesus Christ.
By way of introduction, allow me to share with you from Dr. John MacArthur’s commentary on this passage: “After the miraculous stilling of the storm, Jesus and His disciples continued across the Sea of Galilee to the other side. By now it was daylight and the group of boats landed in the country of the Gadarenes. Those whom Matthew calls Gadarenes were also called Gerasenes, as found in some Greek texts. The small town of Gerasa was on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee, about six miles across the water from Capernaum, and the steep cliffs nearby fit the geographical setting described by Matthew.
“In their accounts of this incident, Mark and Luke mention only one demon-possessed man but do not state that only one was present. For their particular purposes they chose to focus on the more dominant of the two men. The Greek word used, dai-mon-i-zo-mai, simply means to be demonized, to be under the control of a demonic spirit, without regard to the kind or degree of control. Although its accounts of demonized people reflect many different conditions and degrees of control, Scripture does not clearly distinguish between being possessed, obsessed, or oppressed by demons.
“It is significant that Jesus never blamed a person for being either diseased or demon controlled. He recognized them as victims of powers beyond their own control and as in need of deliverance, not exhortation or condemnation. As we see with these two men who were demon-possessed, the personality and voice of a demon can at will, and sometimes continuously, eclipse the personality and voice of the occupied person.”
As Jesus and his disciples landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, the Bible says the two demon-possessed men came out of the tombs, “exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.” We note here the location of the men: they were in tombs, or more correctly, caves that served as tombs for the nearby community. This highlights for us the ultimate work of the devil in our lives — whether that work is demon-possession or not, it always leads to death. It leads to the death of relationships — these demon-possessed men were cut off from their families, their community, and society in general. However, Jesus came into the world to break down the divisions that had arisen not only between man and God, but between man and fellow man — including the divisions fueled by demon-possession. 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.