Jesus and his disciples encountered a severe case of demon possession on the other side of the sea of Galilee. No one could walk on the path because the demons possessing these two fellows would not let them.
The demons began to negotiate with Jesus, “What have you to do with us?” They know who he is, the “Son of God.” They want to know if Jesus has “come to torment” them “before the time.” They apparently know one day the Devil and all his minions, including them, will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). However, they apparently did not know there would be a gap of time between the Son of God’s inauguration of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the consummation of that Kingdom. They are perplexed why Jesus has arrived soo seemingly early.
These demons devise a plan. They ask Jesus to send them into a large herd of pigs in the distance. Demons do not like to be homeless (Matthew 12:43-45), so they make a request. If they must be cast out, perhaps Jesus could simply send them into the pigs. Jesus, to our surprise, honors their request. However, as soon as Jesus allows them to go into the pigs, the whole herd stampedes off the embankment and drowns.
The demons would have liked to have done to the men that they demonized what they did to those pigs. The Devil and his minions seek nothing more than to deceive and destroy (John 10:10). What happened to those pigs could have happened to those men.
Every time Jesus casts out a demon the Kingdom of Heaven is breaking into the world. The Devil and his demons would very much like to keep us enslaved. Jesus came to set us free. He is pushing back the dominion of darkness, transferring the Devil’s captives into his Kingdom of light, and using the sons and daughters of his Kingdom to push back the powers of evil, bitterness, hatred, division, selfishness, greed, lust, power mongering, and similar manifestations of evil in this world (Matthew 5-7).
Satan continues to devise his schemes today, but his doom is sure. In the meantime, Christ is advancing his Kingdom here on earth. As the reformer Martin Luther said, “And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.”