11/18 Matthew 8:28-29

28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"

Jesus was making his first trip with the disciples into a region that was mostly Gentile. While prophets of the past were sent to give God's message to other nations, the religious Jews of Jesus' day were reluctant to mingle with others for fear of being defiled. This passage describes the beginning of Jesus and his disciples reaching out to the world. It's no wonder then that they encountered a storm on the way (Mark 4:35-41) and were met by a demon-possessed welcoming committee.

The demons are angels that followed Lucifer in his rebellion against God. They have been in the heavenly realms and instantly recognized Jesus and knew His title, Son of God. They even knew their eventual fate and that the time had not yet come. They pleaded with Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs. Once Jesus cast them out of the men and into the pigs, the pigs ran into the lake and drowned.

The economic loss of these animals that the Gentiles used for sacrifice to their gods caused the people to request that Jesus leave their area. It looked as though Lucifer had stopped Jesus through trickery. However, Jesus turned the defeat into a victory by sending one of the delivered men back to his home to tell what Jesus had done for him. When Jesus returned later, the people were prepared to receive Him.

Consider: What looks like defeat at the moment can be turned around by God to bring a greater victory at a later time. Don't be discouraged. Trust God!