This morning I am preaching from Mark’s account of Jesus casting out a legion of demons from a man (Mark 5:1-20). After the demons recognize who Jesus is they plead with him not to send them from the region they are in and also not to send them prematurely to the abyss where other demons are in chains. Rather, they ask him to send them to herd of pigs nearby.
This episode, one of the most riveting, most fascinating and one of the most strangest in all the ministry of Christ raises many quesstions. Amon them let’s consider two
First, why did Jesus let these demons go to the pigs? I think the answer is three-fold: 1) To prove that they indeed left the man 2) To show his massive power and 3) to demonstrate the destructive power of demons.
A second question is as follows: Why didn’t he just send them to the pit? First, Jesus recognized that his time had not yet come of ultimate vanquish, but he gives a pledge of that eventual triumph yet to come at God’s appointed time. Jesus had already decisively defeated Satan during his forty day temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). He would ultimately defeat Satan at the cross and at his resurrection (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-15). So Jesus let’s demons do their destructive work.
A second reason is that in God’s plan for today demons still accomplish some sort of divine purpose. We don’t what these are in full, but we have some clues in Scripture such as in 2 Corinthians 12:7 where Paul is afflicted by a messenger of Satan (a demon) so that pride may be squashed in his life. In Luke 22, Christ tells Peter that he will experience Satanic sifting just for a period but that afterward he will return and strengthen His brothers.
So we don’t know all the reasons, nor do we need to know them all but we can say this: “God has His purposes. He could stop the whole satanic operation instantaneously, bind them all, or throw them into the pit immediately, even into the Lake of Fire. But He has His purposes. He lets evil run its full course because it brings Him glory” (MacArthur).
All this shows the power of Jesus Christ and proves that Jesus is the Son of God. Be encouraged today: there’s not one rogue, renegade demon in existence in the supernatural world who does anything that God doesn’t want him to do or allow him to do.