What Demons Fear
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: After sailing from the scenic coastline of Capernaum to the rough, craggy cliffs of the eastern shore, Jesus meets two men who are possessed by evil spirits. Oddly enough, as they tend to do throughout the Gospels, these demons approach Jesus, using the men they inhabit as mouthpieces. And they call Jesus out by his exalted title. What happens next teaches us much about the nature of saving faith—what it is and what it isn’t—and it showcases the mercy of Jesus, the Christ.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. How do Jesus’ miracles give us a preview of the culmination of the Kingdom of God?
2. Why is it significant that the demons recognize who Jesus is (verse 29)?
3. “Bible knowledge does not equal spiritual maturity.” What are some ways that we can easily mistake biblical literacy with spiritual depth? Why is this so dangerous?
4. Read Isaiah 54:17. What comfort do you find in knowing that nothing can harm you except what our gracious and loving Father permits?
5. What is the response of the townspeople when they see Jesus’ miraculous work of healing (verse 34)? What could’ve possibly elicited such a reaction?
6. In what ways do we see Jesus demonstrate compassion to those who reject him? How have you seen Jesus show mercy to you when you have ignored his authority or rejected him by your actions?
1. Read Matthew 8:28-34.
2. “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” – James 2:19
3. 01. It’s not right thinking that saves, but a humble and repentant faith in Jesus and his saving work.
4. “Their admission is non-voluntary, an unwilling recognition of an empirical fact, and therefore it corresponds to no morally or spiritually transforming discovery.” – Alan Cole
5. “They who did not let other pass their way now stand completely still before the look of the One who blocks their way.” – John Chrysostom
6. 02. There is no power that can prevail against the Son of God, or the people he loves.
7. Read Matthew 8:33-34.
8. “They preferred pigs to persons, swine to the Savior.” – Don Carson
9. “As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.” – Mark 5:18-20
10. 03. Jesus shows no discrimination in his offer of salvation, even relentlessly pursuing those who reject him.