Matthew 8:28
When Jesus arrived on the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met Him on their way from the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.
Power Over DevilsR. Tuck Matthew 8:28
The Peace-Bringer in the Spiritual WorldAlexander MaclarenMatthew 8:28
A Man in RuinsBeecherMatthew 8:28-33
Christ and the DemoniacF. Wallace.Matthew 8:28-33
Christ Sending the Demons from the Man into the SwineJ. Bennett, D. D.Matthew 8:28-33
Evil to be Opposed in Self-DefenceBeecher.Matthew 8:28-33
Physical Injury not ToleratedBeecher.Matthew 8:28-33
Sin and SalvationPulpit AnalystMatthew 8:28-33
The Accusing Conscience of the WickedAmerican Homiletic MonthlyMatthew 8:28-33
The Authority of Right Over WrongBeecher.Matthew 8:28-33
Demoniacal PossessionJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 8:28-34
The Divorce of Supreme PityP.C. Barker Matthew 8:28-34
The personality of devils or demons has been called in question, and the examples of demoniacal possession recorded in Scripture have been construed as cases of insanity. But the narrative before us refuses to be thus treated. Here clearly are intelligences who can know, reason, speak, and pray, and who can exist separately from the subject of possession, and after expulsion from men can enter and possess inferior animals. Note -


1. They are formidable in power.

(1) This is evident from their appellatives (see Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15).

(2) From their exploits. See the history of Job. Did not Satan transport the body of Jesus from the wilderness to the pinnacle of the temple, and thence to the mountain summit (see Matthew 4:5, 8)?

(3) From the example of these demoniacs. No man could bind them (see Mark 5:3, 4).

2. They are formidable in number.

(1) Else how could they tempt so constantly the 1,400,000,000 living men? Their number must be great if all the wicked men that have died are demons.

(2) Their name is "legion." A Roman legion numbered six thousand men (see Mark 5:9).

(3) Things singly insignificant in numbers become formidable. Frogs and flies in multitudes became Egyptian plagues. In relation to the swarms of demons marshalled by Satan he is called Beelzebub - "Lord of flies."

3. They are formidable in their military order.

(1) This, too, is suggested in the name of "legion." They are officered into principalities, powers, world-rulers of darkness, and spiritual rulers of wickedness in the heavens (see Ephesians 6:12).

(2) They are efficiently marshalled. Some are devils of pride; some of coveteousness; some of sensuality; some of profanity; some of malice. Those who are led by any propensity to evil are possessed by a demon apt to stimulate it. Is your familiar an "unclean spirit"?

4. They are formidable in their inveterate malignity.

(1) They are proud spirits. What but inveterate malignity could induce them to ask leave of God to work mischief?

(2) The more so when they know that for the mischief they work they will incur a terrible retribution. Devils are not yet in hell. Their time of torment is the day of judgment (cf. ver. 29; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 20:1-3, 10).

5. They are formidable because of their passion for enshrinement in humanity.

(1) Out of humanity they are troubled and uneasy (cf. Matthew 12:43). It is "torment" to them to be ejected from humanity (ver. 29).

(2) They prefer enshrinement in the body of a beast to being houseless. Satan enshrined himself in a serpent. These demons. entreated to be allowed to enter into the swine.

(3) They make havoc wherever they crone. The evil disposition of the heart is a tomb in which a demon dwells.


1. Disastrous because assimilating.

(1) This is more evident in Mark's account, in which the plural and singular are so mingled that it is difficult to know whether the demons or the demoniac speaks (cf. Mark 5:6-10).

(2) This possession is the more deplorable as it diabolizes the Godward side of humanity.

2. Disastrous because dissocializing.

(1) These demoniacs were driven from society into the solitude of the tombs.

(2) Sin breaks up homes and friendships.

(3) It destroys commonwealths.

(4) The rich man in bell did not desire the company of his five brethren.

3. Disastrous because infuriating.

(1) It is suicidal. These demoniacs cut themselves with stones (see Mark 5:5). The priests of Baal cut themselves with knives (1 Kings 18:28; see also Leviticus 19:28; Jeremiah 16:6). Sin is moral suicide.

(2) It is fratricidal. "Cain was of that wicked one, and slew his brother." These demoniacs were the terror of passengers (ver. 28). "One sinner destroyeth much good."


1. Demons confess him their Superior.

(1) This is remarkable in their history since the experiment in the wilderness. There it was, "If thou be the Son of God." Here it is, "What have we to do with thee, thou Son of God?"

(2) They tremble in the presence of their Judge. "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" They were preconscious of their casting out. That casting out they regarded as a presage of their time of final judgment (cf. John 12:31; John 14:11).

2. He may listen to a devil's prayer.

(1) He consented to the prayer of these demons that they should be suffered to enter into the swine. He consented to the prayer of Satan that he might torment Job.

(2) Why should he not? He can work gracious purposes by the most unlikely agency. His consent to the prayer of the demons was a judgment upon the sin of the swine-dealers.

(3) The injury wrought upon the fig tree, that upon the traffickers in the temple, and this upon the swine-dealers, were severally presages of future vengeance.

3. tie may listen to a rebellious sinner's prayer.

(1) The Gadarenes besought him to depart out of their borders. They would rather have demons and swine among them than the holy Jesus. He heard their prayer.

(2) Let the blasphemer beware. His horrible prayers may be answered. The imprecation, "His blood be upon us, and upon our children," had a terrible response in the wars of the Jews and in the horrors of their long captivity.

(3) Let the rejecter of the gospel beware.

4. He may refuse the prayer of a saint.

(1) The Gadarene, now no longer a demoniac, but a grateful believer, entreated that he might be with his Deliverer (see Mark 5:15), but was refused (Mark 5:18, 19). The bodily presence of Jesus he must not have; but his spiritual presence he may enjoy. (:0 Jesus had other work for him to do (Mark 5:19, 20). He was to go home, where he was best known, and there to let his light shine.

(3) Let us not be discouraged if our prayers are not answered precisely as we desired. God answers our prayers to our utmost advantage. - J.A.M.

There met Him two possessed with devils.
I. The IMMEDIATE CONNECTION of the world of darkness WITH the evil heart.

II. The GREAT POWER of the inhabitants of darkness OVER the evil heart.

III. The UTTER IMPOTENCY OF MAN TO DELIVER THE POSSESSED from the power of the inhabitants of darkness.


1. Beware of tampering with evil.

2. The wish of evil will ever be self-destructive.

3. If Jesus has cured you show it by causing joy where you have caused so much misery — in your home.

(F. Wallace.)

Pulpit Analyst.

1. Its contagiousness.

2. Its anti-social tendency — "Neither abode in any house."

3. Its embrutalization of character.

4. Its dread of righteousness.


1. It is begun in expulsion, not repression, of evil principles and desires.

2. God accounts as nothing whatever material loss may be incurred in its effectuation. Souls more than swine.

3. Its moral and spiritual results have a counterpart and external evidence in improved material and social condition.

4. The surest proof of the reality of its accomplishment is renunciation of personal preferences in obedience to Christ's commands.

(Pulpit Analyst.)

American Homiletic Monthly
(ver. 29): —

1. Bad men must sooner or later acknowledge their deserts.

2. They believe that a "time" for punishment of their sins will come.

3. A guilty conscience dreads the presence of Christ.

(American Homiletic Monthly)


1. The possession.

2. The dwelling of the man — among the tombs. A melancholy madness.

3. The fierceness of the demoniac — he could not be bound.


1. The grace displayed in expelling the demons from the man. The devils saw their Master.

2. The justice manifested in the entrance of the demon into the swine.


1. The swineherds flee to carry the tidings. Fear gives wings to their feet.

2. The demoniac comes and sits at Jesus' feet.

3. The Gadarenes entreat Christ to depart, and He goes.

4. The recovered demoniac seeks to be allowed to follow Christ, and is refused.Learn: —

1. Let us shudder at the malice, power, and misery of fallen spirits.

2. Fly for refuge to the power and grace of Christ, and dread the thought of desiring Christ to depart.

3. See the place and duty of those whom Christ has healed.

(J. Bennett, D. D.)

1. That this was not a work of authority done by our Master in His own country. He had passed from His own country. Truth knows no limitations; a man that has it owes it to mankind.

2. The sad spectacle that met our Lord was a man in ruins.

3. The moment our Saviour came into the presence of this man. he brought a distributing force. Two spheres came together that were antagonistic. Evil claims its rights, liberty. This is the keynote of the opposition in modern society to every attempt to make men better.

4. We should oppose these malign influences front self-interest, and in self-defence. It is not going away from our own affairs when we attempt to break down everything that is destroying the industry and virtue of society. We are bound to meddle with the demonized part of society. Men ought to stand on the ground of goodness and assert the dignity of rectitude over immorality.


There is nothing sadder; and, sad to say, nothing more common. No one can see great desolation by conflagration without having a kind of commercial sympathy. The consumption of so much property, the waste and ruin of so many costly structures, is painful to behold. No man can learn that a storm has swept the sea, and that fleets and merchantmen have been wrecked or foundered, without a certain sadness. And yet all the ships on the sea might sink, and all the buildings on the globe might be burned, and the united whole would not be as much as to shatter one immortal soul. There is nothing in old dilapidated cities, there is nothing in temples filled with memorials of former glory, that tends to inspire such sadness and melancholy as to look upon a dilapidated soul, whose powers and faculties are shattered and east down.


It is not going away from our own affairs when we attempt to break clown everything that is destroying the industry, and order, and virtue, and the well-being of the young in society, and corrupting society itself. Every man is to a very great extent dependent for his own prosperity upon the average conditions of the community in which he lives. A man is very much like a plant. If you put a plant in a pot of poor earth, there is no inherent force in the plant by which it can grow. The atmosphere, too, which surrounds the leaf has much to do with the health and growth of the plant. But suppose plant should be endowed with momentary intelligence, and should cry out and protest that it was potted in bad earth, and surrounded by poisonous vapours? and suppose the earth should say, "Mind your own business, and I will mind mine," and the atmosphere should say, "You take care of yourself, and I will take care of myself"? It would be very much like these enemies to society saying to us, when we raise our voices against them, "Mind your own business." That is just what we are doing. We are minding our own business. Our business is to breathe and to grow, and we must have pure air and good soil. And if we are living in a community where we find our roots starved, and our leaves poisoned, we have a right to take care of ourselves and defend ourselves. A man depends for his prosperity and happiness upon the average condition of the community in which he lives. A man that lives in a virtuous community is like a man that lives on some mountain side, where the air is pure. A man that lives in a corrupt community is like a man that lives where the air is impure. And for the sake of our own well.being,and the well-being of our households, we have a right to resist these men who are destroying society by corrupting it.


Let a man start a mill for grinding arsenic, and let the air be filled with particles of this deadly poison, and let it be noticed that the people in the neighbourhood are beginning to sneeze and grow pale, and let it be discovered that this mill is the cause, and do you suppose he would be allowed to go on grinding? -No man would shut up his establishment at once. And yet. men open those more infernal mills of utter destruction — distilleries, and wholesale and retail dens for liquor; and you can mark the streams of damnation that flow out from them; and yet nobody meddles with them. One man is getting carbuncles; another man is becoming red in the eyes; another man is growing irritable, and losing his self-control: another man is being ruined both in body and mind; multitudes of men begin to exhibit the signs of approaching destruction; and the cause of all this terrible devastation may be traced to these places where intoxicating drinks are manufactured and sold. You would not let a man grind arsenic; but you will let a man make and sell liquor, though arsenic is a mercy compared with liquor.


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