Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 6 Study # 6
May 31, 2009
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
1901 ASV Translation:
32 Now there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they entreated him that he would give them leave to enter into them. And he gave them leave.
33 And the demons came out from the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd rushed down the steep into the lake, and were drowned.
34 And when they that fed them saw what had come to pass, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.
35 And they went out to see what had come to pass; and they came to Jesus, and found the man, from whom the demons were gone out, sitting, clothed and in his right mind, at the feet of Jesus: and they were afraid.
36 And they that saw it told them how he that was possessed with demons was made whole.
37 And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes round about asked him to depart from them, for they were holden with great fear: and he entered into a boat, and returned.
38 But the man from whom the demons were gone out prayed him that he might be with him: but he sent him away, saying,
39 Return to thy house, and declare how great things God hath done for thee. And he went his way, publishing throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done for him.
- I. Luke's Record of the "Demonic Storm".
- A. Matthew, who records only a small portion of the event, says there were two men. He also records "...Thou Son of God..." rather than Luke's "...Son of God Most High...".
- B. Luke's record is focused upon only one of the men.
- 1. The man's plight [See notes of May 3<524> and May 10, 2009<526>].
- 2. The man's identification of Jesus [See notes of May 17, 2009<528>].
- C. Jesus' inquisition regarding the "name" [See notes of May 24, 2009<530>].
- D. The destruction of the large herd of swine.
- 1. The entire issue of "pigs" has the automatic background of "unclean meat".
- 2. The demons, fearful of the "abyss" request permission to "enter" into the pigs.
- 3. That the "herd" is "large" is given, but Mark gives the number (about 2,000). The issue is the reference to the size of the herd without any specifics by Luke. Clearly the destruction of so many pigs would be considered a major event. It is an "economic" event. The owner(s) and his/their servants/employees were going to be directly affected at the pocketbook level. Jesus does not even seem to hesitate in giving the demons permission to create this enormous economic disaster.
- 4. Why would the demons wish to go into the pigs?
- a. That there was a "legion" of demons in the one man (or as Matthew says, "two" men) means something.
- b. That they "entreated" Him for permission to enter the pigs means something.
- c. Demons are personal creatures who apparently have a penchant for being in control of the bodies of other creatures. Clearly, for some reason, they consider this "control" of a "body" to be an integrated and fundamental element in their definition of "Life". Seeing that their origins were rooted in rebellion against "control" in a search for a way to obtain what they call "Life", it is more than likely that having unobstructed dominion over other personal creatures drives the lust for "bodies".
- 5. Why did the pigs self-destruct?
- a. Controlling a "body" has much to do with manipulating the brain.
- b. Apparently the demons did not have much experience with "pig brains" and did not have time to self-educate before the pigs went berserk.
- 6. Why did Jesus permit this?
- a. One of the tasks assigned to Jesus by the Father before He came was "to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
- b. One of the ways this "destruction" can take is the overt demonstration of the complete impossibility of "Life" for those in opposition to God. Giving the demons permission to enter into the pigs resulted in a massive demonstration of the incompetence of demons to "control" Life.
- c. One of the words that is used to describe the "sea" is "the abyss" (note Deuteronomy 30:12-14 in Paul's use in Romans 10:6-7). In an ironic "twist", the demons did to themselves what they did not want Jesus to do; i.e., they plunged themselves into the "abyss". This means this: Jesus does not have to do much for "demons" and other "resisters of the control of Yahweh" for them to harvest what they have coming. He simply enforces the "rules" (His "control") and they destroy themselves.
- d. Absolutely nothing further is said of the "demons" in regard to their terror of the abyss. What happened to them once the pigs were all dead? For that matter, what were they doing before they took over the body of the demoniac? The obsessive commitment to "doing what I want to do" is so totally contrary to the Kingdom of God that all God has to do to demonstrate it's absolute futility is to "answer the prayer"..."give permission".
- e. The demons were not the only ones who ran smack into "futility" that day: those who had invested in "pigs" lost big time also.
- f. Is Jesus heartless? Does He not care what happens to "pig farmers"? Did He not know that PETA was going to take Him to court to see if they could get Him some jail time? There is no demonstration of sympathy for anyone in this record except the demoniac, but that does not mean He has none. Which is the more "heartless": bringing on the reality while there is still time for reflection/repentance, or letting it play out until there is no time left?