Hope for the Hopeless Part 3

Matthew 8:28-34  Hope for Those Who are Oppressed


During the 1983 football season, the college bookstore at Iowa State puts a big signs in the window each week  saying "Kill Kansas" or "Whip Washington" or something like that, depending on the name of the upcoming foe.   But the week before  Iowa State was to play the nation's top-ranked team,.  The sign read:  "Maintain Dignity Against Nebraska."


In their minds a win against Nebraska was hopeless !

A) Well in our passage today we see a situation that looked hopeless to many!{2 Lives radically oppressed


B)We saw in our study last time where Jesus got into a boat with his disciples to cross over the sea of Galilee –


C)There was a twofold purpose for getting into the boat that day

1)The Journey was part of the curriculum of the day for the Disciples


D)They ended up in a storm – The storm provided the moment in which Jesus would show them that He possessed ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY over even the forces of nature….


E)Purpose: He can be trusted in the storms of life!


Today we are going to see the SECOND reason for that perilous journey across the Sea of Galilee!

A)Jesus had a Divine appointment with two very needy men on the other side of the lake.


B)Immediately following the storm Matthew tells us.  

                           RD V.28-34


Matthew ‘s focus is to present Jesus as the King

A)So he doesn’t spend a lot of time telling us about the men/ His focus is primarily on the power of Jesus

          Exceedingly fierce = Violent


B)But Mark & Luke give us a few more details about the men.  Consider today

1)Actually in those gospels the focus is only on one of the two men who seems to be the most Dominant


C)Luke tells us{ The man had been in this condition for a long time.

1)Didn’t live in a house, but stayed in the graveyard amongst the tombs { Horror movie material

2)He didn’t wear any clothes – ran around like an animal


D)Mark tells us that they tried to bind the man with shackles and chains – he would just break them apart

1)All night in the tombs and MTs crying out /

2)He would often cut himself! – Self destruction. 



We see in this scene that there are 3 different forces at Work in this story. Satan / Society and the Savior!

A) These forces are still at work in our world today


B) 1st  we see a vivid picture of what Satan can do to people.

1)Satan we are told in the Bible is a thief & a robber whose ultimate purpose is to kill / ROB / destroy (Jn 10:10)


C) These Two men who lost everything.

1) They lost their Homes / Family Friends

2) They lost their decency running  around naked in the tombs.

3) They lost their self-control living like wild animals, screaming, cutting himself and frightening the citizens.

4) They lost their peace &  purpose for living.


D) That is the kind of despair & destruction  Satan hopes to bring into a life.


Now I realize that this is an extreme case – but Satan is still doing this today.

A)Talk about losing self control – what would motivate a man like Elliot Spitzer NY GOV risk everything to engage in sex with a High Priced Prostitute


B)That is not normal behavior – Talking complete lack of self control – Bondage that throws out all rationale

At least 1% of Americans 2 million pp who regularly cut themselves. –Called cutters 70% are female

A)Angelina Jolie – Christina Ricci – Princess Diana

Amy Whinehouse All admitted to being cutters


B)Psychologist say that it happens for various reasons –

1) Hide emotional pain by inflicting physical pain –


C)The Physical pain they feel on the outside becomes more tangible than the emotional pain they are dealing with on the inside.

1) The emotional pain becomes unbearable and the physical pain, although unpleasant, is something with which they can cope." 


D)That might make some sense in the mind of the person who is doing it –

1)but the whole thing is demonic in nature


Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that pp who cut themselves are demon possessed

A)But I will say this  The whole idea is devil inspired


B)See Satan is constantly trying to get pp who have been made in the image of God to defile and to destroy themselves


1)Be it through alcoholism  & drug addiction / Sexual immorality or Self mutilation


Satan knows that most pp are dealing with some form of pain – result of their own wrong choices or other pp’s abuse -

A)His purpose is to try and get pp to deal with the pain and oppression they feel in their hearts by turning to anything else – but to God.


B)Satan is very aggressive.

1)He knows that His time is running out – so He is turning up the temperature – Increasing his game


In Sports we talk about being a good 4th quarter performer – Satan is a good 4th quarter performer

A)Sometimes his tactics are very blantant


Ex. According to the NCT An estimated 18,000 to 20,000 people are brought into the United States for the purposes of prostitution each year.


2)Here in NC – 30-50 a day are brought in from Mexico


SD is considered one of the Meth capitals of the US

A recent study by the San Diego Association of Governments found that 44 percent of adult male arrestees and 51 percent of adult female arrestees in our county's system are testing positive for meth at the time of arrest. Even more troubling is that the drug is showing up in 21 percent of juvenile arrestees.

Furthermore, 60 percent of adult arrestees who reported using meth did so before work, and 67 percent of juvenile arrestees who reported using the drug claimed to have used it before or during school.

Two examples of the very Blatant ways Satan tries to destroy lives. – Also Subtle ways

A)Recent Oprah – Denied Christ – Jesus can’t be the only way.


B)Is Oprah a Satanist? No!  Is she an evil person– no!   A nice lady who does a lot of good things

1)But who is also very deceived –


C) Is Oprah Dangerous – absolutely – Promotes books constantly – New age

1)Finding god in other places contrary to the Bible


D)The Secret – The New Awakening –

1)She said I moved away from the narrow confines of Doctrine to discover God in other things



All a part of Satan’s attempt to vamp it up in the 4th quarter – these last days

A)Think about this Satan and his minions have nothing that distracts them from that one task of destroying men’s souls?


B)No hobbies..... No vacations!!  They war, non-stop

Against you in your Christian life/

1)Against Unbelievers keep in darkness ..send to hell!





This event in the Life of Christ sheds tremendous light on 3 spiritual realities.

1.) It shows what Satan does for a man.

He ROBS him of sanity and self-control.  

He ROBS him of the joys of home and friends.       

He FILLS him with fears. And (if possible) condemns him to an eternity of judgment.


2.) It also reveals what MAN tries do for a man in his spiritual need.




But society is UNABLE to CHANGE him.


3.) It shows what Jesus Christ can do for a man.

Even one whose whole life—within and without—is nothing but bondage and battles.


Jesus sets pp free!

Note: that these men were not looking for Jesus but He came looking for them

A)LK 19 He came to seek and to save the Lost


B)Your Child / Your friend Keep praying


C)The Story is really a picture of Contrast:

1)Satan’s goal is to violate a man’s will – and put that man in bondage to His flesh


D)Why the Bible refers to sin as slavery

The idea is you have a master: The things you want to do you don’t do / don’t want to do end up doing

A)Enslaved to lust – can’t quit looking at porn


B)Enslaved to greed – you live to make more money

1)Enslaved to feelings of bitterness and hatred


C)The harder you try to change – the worse it gets

1)Or if you have success in changing an area – you only end up enslaved to something else.


D)That is the Devil’s strategy! Violate the will – and put you in bondage


Jesus seeks to do the opposite in a life!

A)This picture is a vivid illustration of the total and complete transformation that Jesus seeks to bring to a life.


B)Luke’s gospel describes the men in this way: Sitting Clothed  and now in their right minds

1)Jesus restores their dignity – their sanity/ what lost


C) Life has meaning and purpose again!


D)Jesus doesn’t seek to violate a person’s will – not looking to take control – force Himself on pp


E)Desires that pp would see how much He loves them and willingly surrender – His purposes – His plan

1)A God ordained purpose for their lives = Blessings

Notice again what the demons do when Jesus shows up!  29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"


Now I ask you this question - WHO IS IN CONTROL HERE ? Jesus hasn’t said a word here

A) - He just shows up on the scene and the Demons are freaking out over His mere Presecne


B)They see Him coming and realize we are in trouble

Beg Him  Please Jesus don’t hurt us don’t torment us before the time 


Bb)These demonic beings are also quite aware of their destiny. 


"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:41 NKJV


C)Reminds us that - Hell was not intended for mankind.


D)Mrk & Luke: [asked name  Legion] 5,000- 6,000 { doesn’t necessarily means 6K demons

1)But it could mean that !

2)Mark tells us there were 2,000 pigs in the herd


E)Here is the Point there were many! 2K / 6K or 500  they are all  terrified of Jesus

Now in V.30-34 we read that the Demons asked permission of the Jesus to go into the herd of pigs

A)Jesus granted it & the demon the caused the pigs to run off a cliff plunge to their death’s in water below


B)Why did the pigs want to go into the swine?

 demons are bent on destruction, and hate to be idle.”


C)Demons People or pigs it doesn’t really matter – they want to destroy things – bent on destruction

1)Frog and scorpion -  Don’t sting me – I promise


Sure enough, when they were halfway across, the scorpion stung the frog. “Why did you do that?” yelled the frog. “Now I will die and you will drown, too!”

“I know,” replied the scorpion. “It’s just my nature to sting.”


D)That is the demons – their nature is to Destroy!


So why did Jesus allow this? Why didn’t Jesus just put these unclean spirits out of commission?

A)This text has bothered a lot of unbelievers – What right did Jesus have to destroy someone’s livelihood


Agnostic Leader Thomas Huxley used this event to suggest that Jesus was evil  he called this event  “… the wanton destruction of other people’s property is a misdemeanor of evil example.”


B)Maybe you feel that way – this is unfair – why would Jesus do this?

1)Jesus allowed it – but didn’t cause the demons …

Suggestions of why Jesus did this!


1. Because the time of the total demonstration of His authority over demons had not yet come - it would come at the cross.


Colossians 2:15 tells us that at the cross Jesus disarmed Satan and his demons in their attacks on believers, He made a public spectacle of their defeat, and He triumphed over them in His work on the cross.


Christians can be oppressed – not possessed –

Light and darkness – can’t dwell –

Greater is He that is in you …… world


We can be victorious because He has been victorious


2. I think another reason was to illustrate very vividly to everyone to know what the real intention of these demons was.


They wanted to destroy the man just as they destroyed the pigs.


Some have suggested – that because Pork  was a food forbidden to Jews, those who raised these pigs were  knowingly in violation of divine injunction.


B)However we don’t have any real certain way of knowing if these herders were Jewish or Gentile.

1)Gadera was a Gentile populated region


3. By allowing  the demons to go into the pigs, Jesus was providing proof positive that the demons had left the man.


D)When the towns people saw those pig carcasses floating in the lake and when they saw the man clothed and in his right mind, no one could deny what had happened.


Whatever the reason this story is a lesson in relative values.

A)He who is the master of nature is also its ultimate owner.


B)Those pigs belonged to Jesus because he created them.


C)By his actions, Jesus was saying that one man is worth far more than a herd of pigs.


D)The point of the story is not to destroy the demons but to deliver the demonized man from their power.

1) The pigs are purely secondary.


C. S. Lewis once remarked that “Jesus is not safe, but he is good. He does not always do what we expect, but what he does is always for the best.”




The story ends on a sad note: The pp of the town coming to Jesus – asking him to leave.

A)Why they valued money more than men –


B)Monkey place Yugo – Police chief


C)The truth of the matter was Jesus was willing to give them far more than they lost


D)But notice He didn’t force himself on them
Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.


E)He will not force Himself on you – but if you yield your heart – transformation will happen


Beg Jesus to stay – or to leave you alone?