The Weekend Word
Jesus is still working the list of the 10 deeds in chapters 8 & 9 – see introduction Matt 8:1-13 lesson.
23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.
- In the end, it is his disciples who followed him.
- We see in John 6 – the Bread of Life chapter – in the end, it is his disciples who choose to stay with him.
24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
- One thing in scriptures is that the sea always represents chaos.
- So, do you think that if the boat sank in the storm that the last guy who couldn’t get on would say “good thing I delayed – did you hear what happened to all those guys on that boat?”
- This is what happened in the Buddy Holly plane crash.
- Note – Jesus is asleep = (1) that he is fully man and fully tired (2) he is at peace.
25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”
- Can you imagine the conversation among the disciples – “No, you go wake God – I’m not going to wake God.”
- They can call him Lord, but I don’t think they were thinking in terms of God.
- Isn’t it odd that the professional fishermen, the maritime experts are calling on a carpenter for help?
- The Jews were never good at sea worthy things. They never had a navy and when they did try to fight on the sea it was always disastrous.
- Check out in the OT when they wanted to be like the Philistines.
26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
- Jesus controls even nature.
- Why did he ask “why are you afraid?”
- How do you think he rebuked the winds and the sea?
- Did he yell and plead? Did he just raise his hand?
27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
- Well who did they think they were following? After calling him Lord in v. 25?
- But look who they were? How were they described by Jesus in v.26
- Later, or as we go along – Jesus is going to make them great men of great faith
- But for now, we read this as “those dopey disciples.
- Are we any different?
Jesus Heals Two Men with Demons
*** So who is this Jesus? Here he is showing his power and authority over fever and all kinds of sick people – and then he turns his attention to the wind and the waves – and conquers them all.
*** What is next for this man…. Demons????
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.
- Why did Jesus go to gentile country?
- Demon possession – what are your thoughts?
- Out of the tombs – out of the place of the dead.
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?”
- “O Son of God – the demon description of Jesus
- These are the demons speaking and they know the story.
- “to torment us before the time?’ – is this a description of the upcoming hell?
- They could be asking “is this the last day?
- Are you here to send us to hell forever? – to lock us up in the abyss?
- The demons understand that with the coming of Jesus, the last days HAVE come.
- This is a question that we should ask – and a question we should be able to answer.
- This will sound strange, but follow me – Some of the best theology comes from the mouths of the devil and the enemies of Jesus.
- And some of the worst from his followers.
*** The Bible says;
John 12:31 = “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.”
- The last times have come in advance with Jesus
- The last day’s judgment has come on the devil in these miracles.
- All of these actions are judgment on the devil.
- He no longer rules – his head is crushed – Genesis 3
John 14:30 = “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,”
- He is coming but he has no authority
- We see this in the healing of these 2 men
John 16:11 = “concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
- All of these texts we are now reading in Matthew are really just a sermon to this very point.
Luke 10:17-18 = “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
- The reporting back of the 72 — even the demons …
*** This is what we will see continually when we get to Revelation – Jesus is Lord
- Satan and his beasties are not – at this point Satan has been bound.
30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them.
- Just walking around getting fat off the earth minding their own business.
31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.”
- Are the demons negotiating?
- Cast into the Pigs vs Cast into Hell
32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.
- Even the pigs are wise enough to be dead rather than possessed.
33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men.
- They gave a witness to the works of Jesus.
- All we have to do is tell people what God has said and done and people will come to see Jesus.
- Now that is as far as we can go. Jesus must do the rest.
34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
- You would think that the towns folk would be happy
- “Jesus delivered these men from demon possession – the savior has come!!
- But it is the opposite – as I have said before;
- I would come to church but…”
- No, instead we see the opposite – “get out of here – we don’t want you here – thanks but no thanks.”
My understanding is that the Gadarenes was in Decapolis, a region of 10 Greek origin city states, which constituted the Eastern frontier of the Roman Empire. Rome stationed 2 Legions there, to keep an eye on both Palestine and the Roman boarder. The swine herding may have supported Roman troops.
MLD, do you see any evidence from the text that Jesus’ visit there and the whole encounter had any political undertones? Was this story anti-imperial?
All that you say about the region is true – but I do not see anything ‘political’ in it. I think Jesus is making the point that he, his work and his salvation is open to all, by entering gentile country and casting out demons to show his authority to strangers of the God of Abraham.
Now if there was any political undertones it would be for the same purpose – not to overthrow the government and especially not to encourage others to do so, but for people to see and then listen to what the spirit has to say.
“a Jesus who isn’t engaged in conflict with Satan isn’t the Jesus of the Gospels. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the Devil’s work…Jesus was in a battle with Satan, and if we want to follow Jesus we have to fight the battle that Jesus fought. This seems a rather obvious point, but with all the mental snipping [think Thomas Jefferson’s Bible] going on, due to our doubts and disenchantment, this point is often missed. Jesus was picking a fight. Followers of Jesus have to pick the same fight.’
“Jesus was in a battle with Satan, and if we want to follow Jesus we have to fight the battle that Jesus fought. ”
I am confused and it’s probably my lack of context with Beck’s writing – first who is he?
Is he saying that Jesus left his work incomplete? What happened to “it is finished” What happened to Jesus is my advocate? What happened to coming to Jesus for rest?
Help me here.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
(Ephesians 6:12 ESV)
Beck is a theologian I’m just getting acquainted with…