“When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.”  Matthew 8:28

During the night Jesus and his disciples had faced a violent storm, and Jesus with just a word had brought peace. Now as morning had just begun to grace the Sea of Galilee they faced another storm of a very different type. There on the sea shore, in the region of the Gergesenes, Matthew tells us that they were met by two demon possessed men. Different people when possessed by demons are affected differently, but always the affect is to demean the one possessed and destroy the image of the loving God in which we we’re all created. These men were extremely violent. So much so that no one could pass through the area they inhabited. 

I’ve always imagined that when the Jesus and the disciples landed that morning and had begun making their way down the sea shore that they were suddenly surprised by the demoniacs as they rushed violently toward them. The disciples then reacted by scrambling back to the boat but when they turned to see where the demon possessed men were they discovered that Jesus had not fled. Instead there he was standing serenely with the the same hand he’d raised to calm the sea now raised as he speaks peace to the minds of those tormented men. 

Suddenly the demons cry out, “Why have you come to us, Jesus, Son of God?  Have you come to torment us before the appointed time?”

The demons want to resist Jesus authority but they cannot. They must obey the command of the Son of God. Near by is a large herd of pigs. “Let us go into the pigs,” they ask. 

“Go!” Jesus commanded. 

Immediately as the demons enter into the swine the entire herd turn, rush down the steep bank of the sea shore and drown themselves in the sea. 

The herdsmen then rush to the owners of the swine and tell them what’s happened and the owners come to Jesus and beg him to leave. They can’t see the miracle of the restoration of the demon possessed men. They can only see that Jesus’ coming to their shore has brought disaster upon them. 

Life in this world must sometimes, to a greater or lesser degree, be like that. The bestowing of a blessing in one area might bring perceived difficulty in another. We must train ourselves to remember that God’s hand only brings us blessing. Some of those blessings may come in the appearance of a trial or a storm but if we look upon them with eyes of faith we’ll see the blessings our Heavenly Father has given. God used time and the witness of the restored demoniacs to open the eyes of the Gergesenes. He’ll open our eyes to the blessings contained in our trials too if we’ll give him the chance. 

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