This study will focus on the miracles preformed by Jesus. I will cover a few verses a day until I have gone through them all. You are invited to follow along and comment as you feel the need.
I begin this study with certain preconceived ideas on the subject of miracles.
1 Miracles are preformed for the benefit of the people who receive them.
2 Belief in the accomplishment of miracles is a significant contributor to their fulfillment. In other words if you don’t believe they won’t happen.
3 The purpose of miracles is to save the recipient from a situation where all know solution were exhausted. In other words if your ill go to the doctor
As I go through this study I will keep these preconceived ideas in mind to see if they hold water.
The Healing of Two Demon-possessed Men
28When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes,[d] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29“What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
32He 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. 33Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
The demon possessed men recognized Jesus immediately or better said the demons recognized Jesus. The men had never seen Jesus . Now you have to ask yourself why or how would the demons know who Jesus was? The men they inhabited didn’t. They had to have prior knowledge of who Jesus is. The demons did not ask who are you they declared “Son of God” they knew who he was. The verse describes the two men as being so violent that know one would go near them. Yet when Jesus arrives at the seen they ask him permission to inhabit the near by pigs. They ask Jesus “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” They have conceded defeat even before Jesus says anything. Men that the towns people feared coward before Jesus.
Those with the responsibility of tending the pigs ran into town and broadcast the events of the day. Then it says “Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region”.
Wow! Interesting turn of events. Jesus has just saved the lives of two men and the people of the town come out and say thanks but no thanks. Why?
I’ve heard it explained that the reason for this reaction was because the towns people were concerned for their livelihood. After all some of the towns people suffered a significant loss that day. However I don’t by that reasoning.
I find the choice of animal interesting. A pig, Jesus was a Jew, Jews would never eat or keep pigs, not kosher and unclean(Leviticus 11 4-7) . Jews had a long litany of behaviors they had to engage in when they came in contact with unclean things. So I think we can safely assume that they owners of the pigs where not Jews. Being a Jew Jesus would not have held the pigs in high esteem or attached to them very much value.
Or was he trying to say something with his choice of actions. Remember he gave the demons permission to inhabit the pigs. He could as he did in other situations cast out the demons without giving them a destination.
An unclean animal an unclean spirit joined together to meet an inescapable conclusion self-destruction. Maybe what he was trying to get us to understand was that if we as reprobate sinners choose to associate with like minds we will arrive at the same destination as the pigs?
The towns people, they come out in force as one and plead with Jesus to leave their town. Instead of being grateful for the lives that he has saved they ask him to leave. Why? They did not see him as a threat to their livelihood they saw him as a threat to their very lives. They where all afraid of the two demon possessed men and along comes Jesus without bells and whistles and commands the spirits to leave them. The spirits obey. The pigs drowned. He did it all by the power of his voice. They are asking themselves what else can he do to us. He needs to go now before we lose anything else. The fear that possessed them over the two demon possessed men appears to have possessed them when it came to Jesus. They focused entirely on what they had lost and not on what they had gained. They lost out on the blessings he could have given them if they only would have been thankful. Instead they received nothing further from him.