Ironically, the demons in this passage beg Jesus for mercy when they have refused to extend mercy. How can we as believers live in such a way that marks us as quick to extend forgiveness, mercy, and grace? When have you been challenged to extend to someone else what you expect for yourself?
Jesus pushes us all to a point of decision—will we accept or reject him? Have you experienced a point in your life of complete surrender to God’s will? If so, how did this decision impact your life? If not, what is holding you back?
As believers, we often try to maintain control over certain areas of our lives instead of trusting in the one we know is good and powerful. Where do you have a tendency to grasp for control? What does this reveal about your fears and your view of God? How can you move towards surrendering that area to God?
When Jesus and his followers encounter a man possessed by demons, the evil spirits immediately acknowledge who Jesus is and ironically beg for his mercy.
Satan’s ultimate purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy, and he is still doing this to God’s people today. The only relief that evil experiences from its own misery is to torture someone else.
After Jesus demonstrates his power by casting the demons into the pigs, the townspeople react in fear. They understand the implications of his act—both the supernatural and the natural world obey this man. The logical conclusion is that we should obey him as well.
Like all those who encounter Jesus, we must also realize that he is disruptive and unpredictable. If we follow him, we release the illusion of control we have in our lives, but we also experience freedom.
The possessed man experiences true freedom through his redemption, and he is willing to obey Jesus even when Jesus commands him to act differently than he desires.
We can trust God because he is both good and powerful, and he took on our unique sins in the process of redeeming us. While his plan may be different from ours, we can trust that it is best.