Friday, March 3, 2017

Morning Moments with God, Day 35

                            Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 35: Do We Want Healing or Not?

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 8: 28-34

Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed Men

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 
In Mark 5:3-5, we find the same story, but with a little more detail about the possessed man/men, "This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. In the book of Luke 8: 27, "For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs." 
This town of Gadarenes has two men or one man, as recorded in Mark and Luke, that are so filled with the demons that they cannot chain him hand or foot because he broke out of them, no strong man could subdue him, he had no clothes on, they could not pass his way, he would cry out in the hills, cut himself, and lived in the tombs. This guy was scary and I'm thinking that everyone in town was afraid of him, I certainly would be. I'm also thinking that everyone in town wanted him to either leave or die. Anyone living in that area must have had a difficult life having to deal with him each day. 
29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Matthew 8: 29).The demons TALK to Jesus! They know who He is. They know He is the Son of God. They are spiritual beings and know Him. Here we see the demons know Jesus is God and that there is a time in their future for judgment. In Luke chapter 8 the account reads, "30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss." The demons were afraid of the 'Abyss!' I never thought of demons being afraid, I only think about being afraid of them. In the Merriam-Webster, abyss means, "an immeasurably deep gulf or great space, gazed down into the gapping abyss, the ocean's abysses." It's not hell, so an abyss would be better, but still, an abyss is not so lovely a place to live. 
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water." (Matthew 8:30-32). In the book of Mark the account reads, "13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned." Jesus is even merciful to demons! He allowed them to go into the pigs, I'm not sure what His original plan was, but He changed it. The demons had questioned Him not to torture them before the "appointed time." His appointed time- before He went to the cross. Before He conquered death. The demons even knew why Jesus was here! The other staggering point in all this is that there were 'two thousand' demons in the man! He was a man living in horror. 
33" Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region." (Matthew 8:33-34) How shocked the workers must have been to see their pigs run off the cliff and drown. They ran to tell others. The towns people came to find it all true, just as the workers said, and they asked Jesus to leave. How incredibly sad. In the book of Luke it reads, "When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were overcome with fear. " (Luke 8:35-37) When the towns people heard and saw the once demon possessed man in his right mind and sitting at Jesus' feet, they still asked Jesus to leave. Why? because they had lost, I'm sure, a lot of money when the pigs were drowned and I'm guessing money was more important to them than the healing of a tortured soul. How very sad. 
Jesus did leave and that's where our story ends in the book of Matthew, but in the book of Mark we find a much happier ending, "18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed." (Mark 5:18-20) The once demon possessed man stayed in his town and shared his testimony to the towns people. They must have heard some frightening stories! The Bible says, 'they were amazed,' I wonder if they weren't also a little regretful for sending Jesus away. 
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for healing that man. Thank you for having compassion on him and setting him free. Jesus, come into my life and set me free. Free from fear. Free from anxiety. Free from worry. Make my life a testimony of your goodness, compassion and mercy. May I shout your praises to the world for all you have done in me. I pray that I will never send you away. Come and change me. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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