Day 3~ Matthew 7-9

What stood out to me in today’s reading is that Jesus is looking for and observing the faith that people have.

“He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (8:26)
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (8:26)
“Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” (9:22)
“According to your faith will it be done to you.” (9:29)

The one verse that really stuck out was, “When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (8:10)
Other versions use the words “amazed” or “marveled”.   It’s remarkable to me that Jesus was astonished or amazed!
Conversely, in Mark 6:6, it sadly says, “And he was amazed at their (the people in Nazareth) lack of faith.” 
Lord, please, when observing me, I pray you see the “great faith” that astonishes you, not the lack of it!!


Comments

Reid Murphy said…
A few things stood out to me in this reading, but I have a question you probably have insight on. Why did the demons plead to Jesus to go into the pigs? I've always heard this story, but never really questioned why the demons wanted to go into the pigs.
Damian Egan said…
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."Matthew 7:3-5 This is one of my favorite verses to read when feeling judged or witnessing someone being judgmental. Its such a great parable:) So many verses stood out to me. I love that Jesus demonstrates so much healing, love & compassion.
I'm just going to say up front, sorry if my response is long. I don't know how to give short answers. 😁
You ask a good question Reid. The story is told three times in the gospels, each with a little different detail than the other. Yet none of the accounts explain why the demons got permission to go into the pigs. So, we are left speculating.
Matthew says there were 2 demon possessed men. That was probably the case but perhaps it was one that did the talking so the other writers focused more on that man alone. Mark mentions the number of pigs on the hill side (2000), and that the demons asked not to be sent out of the area (5:11). Luke says they asked not to be ordered to go into the Abyss (8:31). My footnote says that a Roman legion is made up of 6000 men.
Therefore, there could have been 6000 demons that caused the 2000 pigs 🐷 to go crazy, or there could have been 2000. Either way, there were a lot!!
Knowing the amount of pigs that died illustrates just how many demons there were! Can you imagine the bondage these guys were in having 1000 demons each? 👺
By allowing these demons to go into the pigs, Jesus allowed them to stay in the area. The poor pigs went crazy and killed themselves, but the demons didn't die. Their "appointed time" of torture had not come yet. (Matt. 8:30). That will come at the end (Rev. 20:10). Jesus tells how an evil spirit, after coming out of a man, "goes through arid places seeking rest and doesn't find it." (Luke 11:24), I would imagine that would be the case for this legion of demons. However, I don't believe the legion could return to these two because they didn't just get "the house clean and put back in order" (Luke 11:25), they also had filled their house with Jesus! They "went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for them" (8:39).
So to answer your question, the demons wanted to go into the pigs so that they could stay in the area. I don't think they knew the pigs would go crazy and kill themselves. But perhaps they were in a good area to find other people to possess. After all, these people didn't respond with joy to what Jesus had done for these two men. Instead they begged Jesus to leave. That shows hard hearts toward Jesus doesn't it? That makes them free game for any demon to enter them. 😵
I agree! Jesus was/is such a perfect balance of love and compassion, but also calling people out on how they were blowing it!

I'm glad you are reading with me, Damian!!!🤗
Reid Murphy said…
Yeah, that answers all of my questions haha. Thank you so much. I'm excited about this reading plan!😁
Damian Egan said…
Me Too!! Thank you for providing this bible study:)

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