Jesus, Demons & Pigs.

Key Text: Mt 8:28‑34, 9:1, Mk 5:1‑21, Lk 8:26‑40

The entrance of Jesus into the world affected the spirit worlds’ activity.  The  O.T. acknowledges evil spirits, Lv 19:31, but in the N.T., they are  regarded as personalities within living bodies, Js 2:19.  The only occasion of  the activity of the spirit world recorded in the OT is ISam 28:8‑14.  However,  after Jesus arrives, demons possess people, hurting them and overtaking their  lives, ruling them, until Jesus meets up with them. Satan and Jesus were in a battle for the welfare of the human soul Lk 10:17‑20.  

The Demon’s attitude & request: Lk 11:24‑26, They want to rest and dwell in man, seeking arid places.  Taking over the mans life, turning him violent, Mt 8:28.  They had a sarcastic attitude toward Jesus who held  power they couldn’t do anything about, Mt 8:29‑31.  They know what is coming to  them and they are on a mission of spite & revenge, 2Pt 2:4ff, from which God can  deliver us from. But they are ignorant of God’s timing. They could only beg to be sent into the pigs and then the pigs were  destroyed, being sent into water and drowning, Mk 5:13. 

Jesus’ attitude: Mt 8:10, He differentiated from sickness and demon possession. He addressed them as persons and they reacted with super‑human knowledge, Mk  5:8‑12, Mt 8:29.  He silenced and ordered the offended demons, Lk 4:34ff. Thankfully he let them go into the pigs, instead of the pigs’ farmers, who would later reject Jesus. The naked man was clothed. Lk. 8:27, 35. Where did his clothes come from? The public couldn’t believe it and were terrified that the Jewish miracle worker Jesus may destroy more of their unclean business for the sake of a sick person. He was given the privilege of telling others about God’s mercy and power.  Acts 16:17-18, shows that God doesn’t want the truth put forward in unholy ways, or by contradictory means.  The Demon may have known the truth, but was not allowed to spread it for long.  Evangelism is a privilege.  Remember God used the Devil to test Job, (Job 1:17-19). If we keep feeding on the gospel of Christ, the Devil will lose in our life. This is one of the few times Jesus tells the healed to tell others, usually they were  told to be quiet, Lk. 8:55‑56. But outside Israel, it was safe to publicly make known His Messiahship, as He did in Samaria with the woman at the well.

The People: They had never seen such power and were wary of the unknown. Jesus made them very uneasy, to the point of rejection. They cared more for their dead pigs and the money they made, than the two people cleansed.  Humanities condition doesn’t have to be blind, Acts 13:9‑11, we too have a choice. God’s wrath will not wait forever…

The Father’s Love

The reason humanity finds love so peculiar and powerful is because God is love!


Love is not the side-effect of hormones in youth, nor is it just the devoted decision of duty-bound spouses. God is love, 1John 4:8-16. His love is spread today throughout the world by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, Romans 5:5. The love of our heavenly Father God is expressed by David the Psalmist in Psa. 103:13, as compassion for little children.  Most earthly fathers show affectionate compassion to their little children, but refrain when they grow older. However, mothers often continue showing this kind of love on into old age. However, God says through John, that all the Christians he wrote to, were “little children”, 1st John 5:21. No matter how much we mature spiritually, is it possible to be looked upon by God as little children? King David felt a compassionate love towards God and sang about it, Psa. 18:1.

If we wonder why the love of God is so illusive or confusing, consider what God says loving Him is keeping His commandments, Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity”, wrote about love, “do not sit trying to manufacture feelings. Ask yourself this, if I were sure that I love God, what would I do about that certainty? When you have found the answer, go do it. Christian love is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God’, He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves and we should not demand them as a right. The greatest thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not waver. His love endures and pursues us constantly, at whatever cost to us and whatever cost to Him”.

What exactly does God love? Humanity, Jn. 3:16, Romans 5:8.  But at the same time, he also hates whatever the world exalts, Luke 16:15.

God loves the Christ immeasurably, John 15:9 & 17:26, but He also forsook Him on the cross, Matthew 27:46.

God loves the church, Ephesians 2:4 & 5:29, but He truly hates the false ideas and sin in the church, Rev. 2:6 & 15.

God loves a cheerful giver, 2nd Corinthians 9:7, but he also killed Ananias & Sapphira for lying about how much they gave!

God’s love endures forever, as both the Psalmist sings (Psalm 100:5), and Jesus explains in the story of the prodigal son, Luke 15:20.

Do we pray that the Father’s love is with us, and actively present in our daily lives? They that are perverse in heart are an abomination to God, but such as live right are God’s delight. Proverbs 11:20. Where do we get the power to live right with hearts that are true? The good news of Jesus Christ, Romans 1:16. Wherein we find faith is the victory!

Spiritual Parenting

Key Texts: Proverbs 22:6, Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17.

If we want to raise our children with the best possible upbringing and standards, we must take spiritual parenting seriously. Whether we are parents or grand-parents, matters not, because a child’s memory is forming better in childhood, than for the rest of his or her entire life. A parent or grand-parent’s actions and words can leave a life-long impression on children, so make sure it is a spiritual impression and not just a physical one.

Any event repeatedly recorded by the Holy Spirit insures that we get the message of importance in what Jesus is doing when He blesses the little children.  Jesus hugged the children and laid hands on them, blessing them.  Jesus asked for the parents to come back after his disciples sent them away, thinking it was unimportant, so let us treat this subject with the same importance as Jesus does.  What exactly is Jesus doing here in blessing the children?  It included prayer.  Is there a difference between Jesus praying for children, and us praying for children? Mt. 19:13 

THE PARENTS: There is a loveliness in Jesus Christ that anyone could see.  It is easy to think of these mothers in Palestine feeling that the touch of a man like that on their children’s heads and his prayers would bring a blessing, even if they did not understand why.  But it was an early custom for Jewish mothers to bring babies entering into their first birthday to Rabbis and ask for prayers and blessings.  The Jews didn’t observe birthdays, but this custom was the closest thing to it.  Note: Jesus called both the parents and children, Luke 18:16.

THE DISCIPLES: Jesus was angry at his disciples for talking sternly to the mothers, he might have been angry at one of two things:  Either they were too impatient and over-protective of his welfare.  OR,  they were lacking in grace & knowledge as to the importance of the mother’s requests.  A REQUEST for prayer should never, never be denied.  There is a spiritual need being sought for,  God wants it filled and the disciples were actively working against his will, so the next time we hear someone ask, “PRAY FOR ME”, we had better count ourselves obliged to do so, or we are working against God’s will.

THE CHILDREN: “Of such,” said Jesus “is the Kingdom of God.”  What is it about the child that Jesus liked and valued so much? There are at least five attributes of children we should remember and restore in ourselves.

There is the child’s humility.  Ordinarily children are embarrassed by prominence and publicity. Little children are not born to think in terms of pride, position and prestige.  They have not yet learned to discover the importance of self. Mat. 18:3-4. But sometime sooner or later, children become exhibitionists, this is always the product of misguided adult treatment, and it sadly and usually starts early, from untrained and unwise parents.

There is the child’s trust. A child’s trust is also seen in the child’s confidence in other people.  He does not expect any person to be bad.  He will make friends with a perfect stranger.  A great man once said that the greatest compliment ever paid him was when a little boy came up to him, a complete stranger, and asked him to tie his shoe lace.  The child has not yet learned to suspect the world.  He still believes the best about others.  Sometimes that very trust leads him into danger, for there are those who are totally unworthy of it and who abuse it, but that trust is a lovely attribute. Can we have this kind of trust with our fellow Christian brothers & sisters?  Php 4:1-3, 1st Cor. 16:3.

The child’s sense of wonder: The British Poet Tennyson in 1880, tells of going early one morning into the bedroom of his little grandson and seeing the child “worshipping the sunbeam playing on the bedpost.”  As we grow older we begin to live in a world which has grown grey and tired.  Little children live in a world with a sheen on it, wherein God is always near.  We should remember our Creator has a sense of imagination and humour in His creation, you can see it in the many colours of flowers and in the weird shapes of animals, just a glance at a monkey or ant-eater can bring a smile, imagination and creativity to a child. Jesus saw great glory in flowers, Mat. 6:28-30,!  By all means, put away childish (foolish) things as Paul did, as when he became a man, but do not forsake God’s gifts of beauty, praise, glory and creativity, He made us in His image, Gen. 1:26, which includes the ability to create!

The child has an innate desire to imitate their parents.  This is commanded of Christians, “Be holy, for I am holy”, 1Peter 1:16.  Little children are always trying to wear Mothers shoes, or use Fathers tools, their inclination to imitate their parents is indicative of the way Christians ought to try and imitate our Heavenly Father.  He is holy, so lets live our lives as pure as we can, and set our life apart for a godly purpose, so that our children’s appetite for a spiritual life will grow.

1. Confident Compassion. Showing children you love them and encourage them in truth. 1John 4:7, Mark 10:16, Colossians 3:21, 1st Corinthians 13:7.

2. Consistent Counsel. Being prepared to always offer advice without shoving it down their throat. Deuteronomy 6:7, Psalm 145:13, Proverbs 24:3, Matthew 28:18-20

3. Correction & Challenges. When appropriate, being able to prove the consequences of disobedience, and set them goals for a reward. Hebrews 12:6, Proverbs 19:18, Luke 16:10, Ephesians 4:29.

4. Commemorative Celebration. Ecclesiastes 11:7- 12:1. Have your children remember good things (blessings) from God and praise Him for them! Philippians 4:4

Christ Crucified

Key Text:  1st Corinthians 2:1-16.


When our message originates with God, there is no place for disunity on the basis of who or how we preach the gospel. Paul clearly said he spoke “THE TESTIMONY OF GOD”. With precision we need to remember that God’s power is our prime objective, and no other problem should slow us down in delivering God’s message of Christ crucified. Philippians 1:15-18.


2nd Timothy 1:8 is a good example of what our TESTIMONY OF GOD is. In what ways has the Lordship of Jesus been genuine in the life of Timothy or us?

Ephesians 4:17-25, is Paul’s charge to Christians for sharing God’s TESTIMONY, which is speaking the truth in love.


Paul was determined that neither he nor his fellow preachers would become a source of division, but that every Christian would find a way by the gracious power of God to share their faith in Christ crucified. Our understanding of, and proclamation of the truth comes only from the word of God, John 17:17 & 2nd Timothy 2:15.


The crucifixion is not an easy subject to talk impressively, or scholarly, or philosophically about. However, the crucifixion is very easy to talk about with common words because it was a graphic way to die.  In Jesus, we have a pure motive of love behind the gory details of his sacrifice for the goriest of sinners. Truly the gospels do not emphasize the gruesome details, but rather the heartfelt impulse of his undying love through pain, death and the resurrection he offers to share with ANYONE. Paul was very aware of academic intellectuals (Acts 17:28), but he knew the power of God was invested and enacted through a message of enduring love, rather than deep knowledge, Romans 1:16.

The message of the cross can easily be directly related to either of two subjects:

1.      Our experience of it. John 17:20-24, Jesus prayed for us to use this!

2.      The Lord’s word on it. A good example from Philip: Acts 8:35 & Isaiah 53.

There is no separation of the two subjects: “Christ Crucified” & “Christ’s Teaching”. They are inseparable in the mind of God and in our daily life, but do we share it?


Paul suffered from ‘fear & trembling’ but his experience didn’t stop the sharing of the cross, because he relied on the power of God, not his own power. He wasn’t afraid of his enemies, but rather he was afraid of God’s wrath toward them, if he didn’t share the good news to the lost souls around him. He had no fear of God’s wrath against himself, but rather the thought of how people would be lost and punished without his sharing!


See 1st Corinthians 9:16 & 2nd Corinthians 5:11.  Do we FEEL for our lost friends? If yes, what exactly do we feel for them?  Paul’s words proved to be weighty & powerful, 2nd Corinthians 10:10. The only way, we will make our words effective, is to use them for directing the purpose of Christ’s Cross towards sin in every day life for other people to die upon with us.

The Beauty of Unity

To see the beauty of unity in Christ isn’t easy sometimes, because what we know about each other, usually isn’t our faith in Christ.  The more of Christ we can share, the easier it is to be together, united and loving each other as Christ does. So why do we talk so much about the weather and price of gasoline?  The old adage, “familiarity breeds contempt”, is only true if we are getting more familiar with eachother’s sinfulness, instead of each other’s faithfulness to Christ.

 Jesus prayed, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent me”. Jn. 17:20-21. Peter the frontrunner of the Apostles, wrote, All of you have unity of spirit, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind”, 1Pet. 3:8.  Paul the Apostle to us Gentiles wrote, “Let your behavior be worthy of the good news of Christ, so that you…stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the good news…”, Php 1:27-28.

Do we pray for unity as Christ prayed? Do we feed our heart with scripture to have a loving, tender, humble heart? Is the good news of Christ, our prime objective? When we can answer yes to these questions, we are on the fast track to experiencing unity with all who can answer yes with us. There is no force, no person, no law, nothing, that can stop the fruit of His Spirit from growing in our hearts if we pray and feed our hearts with the gospel, Gal. 522-23. Why is this growth so unstoppable? Because of what happened to Christians explained in the very next verse, 24, they “have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and desires, if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”. The beauty of unity begins growing with the “crucifixion” of our self. As children we sang the song, J.O.Y., Jesus first, Yourself last, others in between gives J.O.Y..   As we grow older, we should realize the cost of what it means to actually put ourselves last. Paul described it in both hard and soft ways, “But in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself…let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”, Php 2:3-5

Psalm 133 uses two objects to describe the beauty of unity.  As twenty first century westerners we cannot appreciate the context they are put in, such as Aaron’s beard and the picture of Mt. Hermon. But the two symbols are indeed mentioned in the New Testament to help us enjoy the beauty of unity.

Oil: This was holy and to be used only on priests, if it was abused, punishment ensued, Ex. 30:22-33. This oil was abundantly poured over (annointed) Aaron the High Priest at joyous festivals, it represented God’s approval, blessings, holiness and healing. All of which Christians find promised and experinced in Christ Jesus.

Dew: From Mt. Hermon (having 3 peaks) drifted clouds of water, which gave life to rivers and flowing down to Jerusalem, blessed Mt. Zion. The obvious beauty is quite a relif in parched Israel. Notice how both oil and water are essential ingredients to life. Oil is essential to spiritual life (holiness), and water is essential to physical life. Hebrews 1:9, 10:22 & 12:14.

What do we really know about eachother to help us view and share the unity God wants us to have? We all have several gifts God has given us. Christ is the annointed and we are in Him. We all have access to the water of life, Jn. 4:10-14. We all have a desire for God’s love, Jn. 13:35. We all have a solution to our sin, his blood. There is so much more, that we have in common, let’s grow in them and discover others…  Once you have learnt the, are they refreshing enough to share? Do we want to share our faith in them? If yes, then we are indeed growing in the beauty of unity.