What Jesus Did! 'Destruction and Victory' — Matthew 8:30-32

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Near that place there was a large herd of pigs feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you make us leave these men, please send us into that herd of pigs." Jesus said to them, "Go!" So the demons left those men and went into the pigs. Then the whole herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs drowned in the water.
— Matthew 8:30-32
Illustration of Matthew 8:30-32 — "If you make us leave these men, please send us into that herd of pigs."   ——   "Go!"

Key Thought

Two truths are powerfully illustrated by these verses. First, Jesus commands and demons must obey. He is superior to them. They cannot stand against him. Second, the goal of the demonic world is to destroy. The plight of the men possessed—unclothed, out of their mind, self-destructive, living in the place of the dead, isolated from people—and the ultimate end of the herd of pigs both remind us that the demonic world, no matter how alluring or seductive or powerful, has as its goal our destruction. The crucifixion of Jesus, which lies ahead, will be the place that Jesus' superiority will ultimately conflict with the demonic world's desire to destroy. For three days it appears as if the demonic world will win. Jesus' triumphant resurrection is the great reminder that he is Lord. He has the power to defeat every enemy. Our ultimate victory in Jesus is assured just as surely as their ultimate defeat is certain.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, please give me wisdom to see through the temptations of Satan and the allure of the demonic world. Don't let me ever forget that Satan's ultimate desire for me is my complete physical, spiritual, and social destruction. Thank you for sending Jesus to absorb the demonic world's blows intended for me and to free me from the power of death forever. In the mighty name of Jesus, your Son and my Savior, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus saw that all the people were around him. So Jesus told his followers to go to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, I will follow you any place you go." Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place where he can rest his head." Another man, one of Jesus' followers, said to Jesus, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first. {Then I will follow you.}" But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the people that are dead bury their own dead." Jesus got into a boat and his followers went with him. After the boat left the shore, a very bad storm began on the lake. The waves covered the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The followers went to Jesus and woke him. They said, "Lord, save us! We will drown!" Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You don't have enough faith." Then Jesus stood and gave a command to the wind and the waves. The wind stopped, and the lake became very calm. The men were amazed. They said, "What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!" Jesus arrived at the other side of the lake in the country of the Gadarene people. There, two men came to Jesus. They had demons inside them. These men lived in the burial caves. They were very dangerous. So people could not use the road by those caves. The two men came to Jesus and shouted, "What do you want with us, Son of God? Did you come here to punish us before the right time?" Near that place there was a large herd of pigs feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you make us leave these men, please send us into that herd of pigs." Jesus said to them, "Go!" So the demons left those men and went into the pigs. Then the whole herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs drowned in the water. The men that had the work of caring for the pigs ran away. They went into town and told the people what happened. They told about all that happened with the pigs and with themen that had demons. Then the whole town went out to see Jesus. When the people saw Jesus, they begged him to leave their area.

Matthew 8:18-34

Related Scripture Readings

Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15

Then I saw heaven open. There before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True. He is right in his judging and in making war. His eyes are like burning fire. He has many crowns on his head. He has a name written on him, but he is the only one who knows the name. No other person knows the name. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood. His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him. They were riding white horses. They were dressed in fine linen, white and clean. A sharp sword comes out of the rider's mouth. He will use this sword to defeat the nations. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. He will squeeze {the grapes} in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the All-Powerful. On his robe and on his leg was written this name: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS Then I saw an angel standing in the sun. The angel said with a loud voice to all the birds flying in the sky, "Come together for the great supper of God. Come together so that you can eat the bodies of rulers and army commanders and famous men. Come to eat the bodies of the horses and their riders and the bodies of all people—free, slave, small, and great." Then I saw the animal and the rulers of the earth. Their armies were gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the animal was captured. Also the false prophet was captured. This false prophet was the one who did the miracles for the animal. The false prophet had used these miracles to trick the people who had the mark of the animal and worshiped his idol. The false prophet and the animal were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

Revelation 19:11-20

You died with Christ and were made free from the worthless rules of the world. So why do you act like you still belong to this world? I mean, why do you follow rules like these:

Colossians 2:20

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.