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

Monday, April 12, 2021

There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. So the demons [in the two men Jesus encountered after crossing the lake] begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs."

"All right, go!" Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

— Matthew 8:30-32 NLT

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 minds, 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 of him at this time in his ministry, will be the place that Jesus' superiority will ultimately conflict with the demonic world's desire to destroy. For three days after his crucifixion, it appears as if the demonic world has won. 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 demons 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 2:14-15
  • Revelation 19:11-20
  • Colossians 2:20


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Illustration of Matthew 8:30-32 NLT — "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs."   ——   "All right, go!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.