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Bible verses about Jesus Christ's Miracles: Exorcism of Demons
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 8:28-34

In this miracle, (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; and Luke 8:26-39), Jesus Christ commands unclean spirits to come out of two men. Demons must obey Jesus even if people do not. Even so, the demons do not obey Christ's command immediately. They object, unwilling to abandon their victims. Christ could have compelled them to come out of the men immediately if He had wished, but the men may not have been able to survive the exorcism on their own strength.

In a separate incident, Mark 9:26-27 informs us, "Then the spirit [one demon] cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, 'He is dead.' But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose." Here, the exorcism had induced convulsions in the man as a single demon left him. Both exorcisms were under Christ's control; He used His great power but with wise, gentle, and cautious concern.

Jesus addresses the men as if they are possessed by a single spirit, but the demon's answer, giving his name as "Legion," shows that he led a company of demons. Mark records that the swine that the demons entered after their exorcism numbered about two thousand (Mark 5:13). If this was the number inhabiting the two men—each with its own personality, all under the power of one will, animated by one purpose and united in operation—then the plight of the two men must have been horrific in the extreme.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed (Part Three)


 

Matthew 8:31

Christ does not send the demons into the swine but merely out of the men, nor does He drive the pigs into the sea through a divine miracle, but the demons themselves do it by divine consent.

There may be an element of judgment here on the owners for raising the swine as food (Leviticus 11:4-8). While Jews do not eat pork, Roman soldiers did, and providing unclean meat for others does not seem to have bothered the Jews' consciences. Thus, the destruction of their swine is deserved punishment for violating God's law.

The Bible tells us of demonic powers entering into only two species of animals: the serpent—a symbol of deception and shrewdness—and the swine—a symbol of uncleanness. What more appropriate place is there for unclean spirits to be contained than in swine?

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed (Part Three)


 

Matthew 15:21-28

In this miracle (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30), Jesus uses His meeting with a pagan woman from beyond the borders of Judea to illustrate the future potential of the Gentiles. While Christ spent most of His time ministering to Israelites (Matthew 15:24), on a few occasions He did mercifully intervene on behalf of Gentiles.

The Gentile identity of the woman who sought exorcism for her daughter is emphasized three times in the accounts: in Matthew 15:22, she is "of Canaan"; and in Mark 7:26, she is called both "a Greek" and "a Syro-Phoenician," a person from Phoenicia, then regarded as part of Syria. Jesus performs this miracle in the coastal area of Tyre and Sidon, the same area where Elijah performed the miracles of providing meal in the barrel and raising the Gentile widow's son from the dead (I Kings 17:8-24).

Later, the apostle Paul stopped at Tyre and met with some Christians there (Acts 21:3-4), showing some of the influence Christ had on these Gentiles. Not only was this miracle part of that influence, but Luke 6:17-20 also tells us that many from that area came to Judea, bringing their sick and demon-possessed to Christ for healing.

Regarding the exorcism of the daughter, we see that Christ declares the girl to be healed, and it is so. Clearly, the woman believes that distance does not matter regarding Christ's power to heal, for when Jesus tells her to go home and that her daughter is healed, she leaves Him with complete confidence that His word is true and omnipotent. She is another of Jesus' "other sheep" (John 10:16), a Gentile, not an Israelite to whom He had primarily come. She undoubtedly made this miracle known to other Gentiles, opening the door for the apostles to proclaim Christ's purpose for coming into the world: to bring salvation one day to all humanity.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Syro-Phoenician (Part Two)


 

Matthew 15:26

When the Gentile woman says, "Lord, help me," Jesus up to this point had spoken only to His disciples. Now He speaks to the woman, telling her she is not of Israel and that, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." By "children" He means Israelites (Acts 10:36), while "dogs" were symbols of unclean Gentiles, a proverbial expression used by the Jews to represent their sense of national superiority over the nations.

Jesus does not Himself call the Gentiles "dogs," using the term only here to point out the normal antipathy between Jews and Gentiles, which His disciples had echoed. The word He uses for "dogs" is a mild one, meaning "little dogs" or "puppies"—not large, wild dogs native to the area but domesticated animals like those the Romans had introduced during their occupation. It suggests the family puppy under the table at dinnertime, begging for a scrap.

Because of her faith and humility, the woman does not take offense at this. His words do not discourage her because she was hopeful with faith, and her works demonstrate that hers was not a dead faith, but a strong one. She was resourceful and knew enough about Jesus to believe that He was both compassionate and powerful. Feeling deeply unworthy and contentedly accepting her place among the dogs, she merely asks for spiritual crumbs from His merciful table—a little crumb for her daughter is all she seeks.

Counting herself a "puppy," she faithfully looks forward to being counted by God as His child (Galatians 3:26). Although she stands outside of the elect family of Israel, she trusts that Jesus' goodness would impart a blessing. By intervening on behalf of her and her daughter, Jesus shows that the Gentiles' potential for salvation is no less than that of Israelites.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Syro-Phoenecian (Part One)


 

Matthew 15:28

The woman receives a two-fold reward: She is commended for her great faith and receives healing for her child. Christ shows that He approves of her boldness and honors her faith, which—along with her persistence and humility—earn her blessings. She keeps knocking at the door of opportunity until it is opened.

From this, we should learn a lesson about prayer. Initially, she seems to be rejected and denied access to Christ's power, but then, having seen her faith, Jesus opens His grace to her. Christ commends her for "great" faith. She takes the lowliest place, but her faith in Christ earns her His highest praise.

Her faith is tested by His silence and then by His discouraging reply, but it is necessary for Him to see the strength of her faith, as well as for her to realize what it takes to follow Him. He is pleased with what He finds in her.

Ultimately, the Lord sustains our faith and gives us hope to strengthen it (Psalm 138:3). Her faith was built on hope of good things to come, and what she had heard of Christ and seen of His power motivated her. Her unparalleled trust in Him proves that it is not blood lineage through Abraham that identifies his children in the faith, but faith itself. Although a Gentile by birth, she would become a spiritual Israelite through belief and conviction (Galatians 6:16). The strength of her faith is manifested in what she overcame—not physical obstacles, but mental and emotional barriers.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Syro-Phoenician (Part Two)


 

 




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