Why did Jesus give permission for the demons to possess the pigs?


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This story is recorded in Mark 5:1–20; Matthew 8:28 to 9:1, and Luke 8:26–39. The demoniac declared that Jesus was the “Son of God” and begged Him, “I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not” (Mark 5:7). The demons were fearful of their destiny (Matthew 8:28-29) and that they may be sent to the abyss (Revelation 20:1). Instead, the demons begged Jesus to allow them to enter into a herd of pigs. The Lord gave them permission. And when they did, the pigs rushed down into the lake and drowned (Matthew 5:13).

But why did the demons ask the Lord to allow them to enter into the swine? The Scriptures don’t directly state why but it could be for the following reasons:

  1. The demons didn’t want to leave that area. “And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country” (Mark 5:10).
  2. Satan aimed to turn the people of this region against the Savior by destroying their natural resources.
  3. The demons wanted to possess unclean animals because they were unclean themselves.
  4. The demons wanted to embody animals instead of getting sent to an empty place of torment.

Why did Jesus grant them this permission? The Scriptures again don’t give a direct answer but it could be for the following reasons:

  1. If the pig owners were Jews, the Lord wanted to punish them for going against the clear instructions of Moses in raising swine for the sake of monetary profit (Leviticus 11:7).
  2. If the pig owners were gentiles, Jesus wanted to show them His authority over the dark powers of the devil and His ability to deliver and set free all those who seek Him (Luke 4:18).

Whatever the case, the ultimate result of this miracle and the ministry of the transformed men, who previously had been known throughout the district as demoniacs, together with news of the herd of swine that perished in the sea, served as nothing else could possibly have done to change the people of the region to accept the Lord (Mark 5: 19, 20). For Jesus bade the delivered person “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:17-20). The result was that when Jesus came back to that area, multitudes of people came out to meet Him wanting to listen to His teachings and receive healing (Matthew 14:34–36 and Mark 6:53–56).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

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