The Two Demoniacs

Matthew 8:28-34
Am 5:14-15,21-24 / Psa 50

The whole town set out to meet Jesus; and as soon as they saw him they implored him to leave their district.
(Matthew 8:34)

Guard against earthly obsessions
Strive only for the things divine;
Desire for worldly possessions
Drives men to the level of swine.

When Jesus reached the district of Gadara, two demoniacs met Him, who came out of the tombs– so fierce that no one could pass that way. They screamed, “What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the time?” Some distance away, there was a large herd of pigs feeding, so the devils pleaded with Jesus, “Send us to the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go”, and they came out and entered the pigs. Then the whole herd charged down the cliff into the lake and drowned. The men in charge of the pigs went off to the town where they told the whole story, and what happened to the men possessed by the demons. The whole town set out to meet Jesus, and as soon as they saw the Lord they implored Him to leave their place. (Matthew 8:28-34)

Reflection

Jesus did not waste time leaving that place. Because of their sheer ingratitude and closed minds, our Lord decided to go to other places where people would be more receptive to His works and to the Good News of salvation. But why was our Lord rejected by the inhabitants of Gadara? For one thing, He was a Jew, and Gadara was of the Gentile world, as evidenced by their swine raising (Jews were forbidden by the law of Moses to eat pork). Another reason could be because the influence of the evil spirits had become so pervasive in that place that the kingdom of God that Jesus wanted to preach was anathema to them.

This Gospel account reminds us that the influence of Satan can be so strong that the Word of God can fall on deaf ears due to people’s materialism, selfishness, or erroneous beliefs. None are in greater danger of demon possession today than those who indulge in spiritism and embrace the New Age Religion. Their adherents believe in reincarnation, channeling, and in communicating with the spirits of the dead. Despite numerous testimonies in Scriptures, many even deny the existence of devils and eternal damnation, having been deceived by Satan that God in His goodness would never allow the existence of hell. As early as the time of Moses, man had always been warned about these evil influences. “There shall not be found among you any one… that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.” (Deut.18:10-12) All whose faith is not firmly established upon the Word of God will be deceived. We are fortunate who live and believe in the teachings of Jesus, which have become the rule of our life. We subordinate all our plans to the designs of the Holy Spirit.

By Your Word we have been enlightened, Lord, and by Your Spirit we shall never succumb to Satan’s lies; for Jesus now lives in our hearts. Amen.

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