The Authority of Jesus
September 6, 2020
And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:29).
Jesus had demonstrated His divine authority over the spiritual life in His Sermon on the Mount. He demonstrated that same authority over nature by calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Now He demonstrated that same authority over evil spirits.
Satan and his demonic hosts know who Jesus is. They know He is the Son of God. They have a history that goes all the way back to heaven prior to the creation of the universe. At this point they knew they were standing before the 2nd Person of the divine Trinity, and that frightened them. Why? Note their question, Have You come here to torment us before the time?
The demons of hell know God has a set time when they will be judged and sent to the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10). They have read the Bible; they know how things are going to end for them. Their time has not yet come, but it is coming, and they know it.
These demons knew, as all demons know, that their judgment is not set until after the Kingdom of Jesus Christ comes. Here they are wondering why Jesus would have anything to do with them in these possessed men. It was too early for their judgment to have come, but they feared Jesus would preempt that appointed time and consign them to the abyss at that very moment. He had the authority and power to do so, and they knew it.
Demons are far more evil than we can imagine. They hate Jesus and all of humanity. Yet they have a healthy respect for Jesus and those who belong to Him. They fear His authority and power. Here, their words are not contemptuous, but pleading. They fear His judgment and the abyss where the most evil of demons are kept until the final day of judgment. So they beg Jesus not to send them there, but rather to let them enter into a nearby herd of pigs. Jesus agreed.
Why would Jesus acquiesce to the request of demons? For 2 reasons: 1) it was not the appointed time for their judgment, and 2) delivering those men from demonic possession was more important to Jesus than a herd of pigs; their value to the Kingdom of God was greater than the value of swine. The same holds true for you and me. We are infinitely more valuable to the Lord than materials or evil spirits. We should, therefore, refrain from any activity or relationship that would allow them access into our lives.
“I know, Lord, that Satan and his demons are highly deceptive and more than able to entrap us by their subtle methods. Keep my spirit sensitive to Your Holy Spirit so that I am not trapped or even influenced by them to do their bidding. To the honor and praise of Jesus I ask, Amen.”