By Allison Gingras
“What have you to do with us, Son of God?” ~ Matthew 8:29a
Everything about Matthew 8:28-34 flies in the face of every Jewish purity law. We encounter unclean animals in the swine, unclean spirits in the demoniacs, unclean land in Gadarenes, and unclean people with the Gentiles. However, it is these very things that make this passage so remarkable! The Gospel shows Jesus’ supernatural power and authority over natural law—Jesus, Son of God, can heal, restore, and holds unmatched power over the natural and supernatural realms — and everything in between!
One element I particularly love about the Synoptic Gospels is the ability to compare each writer’s perspectives. One detail that remains throughout each of The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs accounts (Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37) is the desire of the townsfolk for Jesus to depart. They just want Jesus to leave—misunderstanding the good He is doing and giving in to their fears. Sadly, they are missing this beautiful opportunity of an encounter with the Messiah, the Christ, the Word Incarnate, who came to remove demons.
Jesus Removes Demons
How many times has Jesus come to remove demons from my heart, and I have sent him away afraid of what He will ask in return or misunderstanding the privilege and beauty of what is happening before me? The demons recognize Jesus but in their midst and what He has come to do, but do I? Yet another paradox in this Gospel—why would they not be overjoyed by His assistance? What an odd response at seeing His mystical extermination skills that they were clearly in need of!
Today be open to Jesus’s presence in your life, to the work He is doing within you—whether you fully comprehend it or not. Jesus came to make all things new, knowing nothing impure can stand before God. Bottomline: the more demons He casts into swine, the better.
Open my heart, Lord, to recognize when you are working in my life for the good of my soul. Soften my heart that I may welcome you to stay and continue the supernatural work you can do within me, which moves me toward the holiness you desire. Amen.
Call to Action
Read and reflect on all three accounts of Jesus’ healing of the possessed man in today’s Gospel. Where do you see yourself in this reading? How ready and willing are you to allow Jesus to cast out your demons?
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