Matthew 8: 33-34. “And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought Him that He would depart out of their coasts.”
What happened to the demons when the pigs drowned? Why did the whole city come out and beg Jesus to leave? Did they miss the demons and the maniacs? Did they love the pigs? You’d think they would have been pleased, but they weren’t.
First, the demons. There really isn’t a lot to go on. I don’t think they drowned with the pigs, because they are supernatural beings. One source I read says it’s possible they were cast into the abyss—back home to their master, Satan. The truth is, we just don’t know. And it’s not the important piece here, anyway, so let’s move on 🙂
I’m much more interested that the swineherd(s) ran away into the city and told everyone they saw what had just happened. It’s not often anyone got to tell such an exciting story! The word seems to have spread quickly, and it wasn’t long until the whole city came to Jesus and begged Him to go away.
I read somewhere that in trying to solve a crime, it’s a good practice to follow the money. Of all the things I read about this incident, that’s the one that makes the most sense. (By the way, there are some REALLY cuckoo ideas out there!) That herd of hogs was a great money-maker. The market was the Roman officials and soldiers in Israel, as well as the resident gentiles. When the city fathers heard that the pig revenue for that year had just gotten laundered, so to speak, they decided to waste no time in asking Jesus to leave their neighborhood. Who knew what else He might be up to, after all?
Weren’t they excited to learn that the two maniacs had been released from the control of the demons? Maybe, but it sure does seem as if they were a lot more concerned about the loss of their income than they were about those two men.
I think it’s interesting that my KJV uses the word besought. They didn’t order Him to leave. They weren’t stupid, apparently. Anyone Who could cast demons out of men and into pigs was Someone to treat with respect. So they begged Him politely to please find somewhere else to do miracles, and to not destroy any more of their economy. Please, Sir. Thank You.
It occurs to me that they probably treated Jesus with more respect than we do today. But that’s a topic for a rant, so I won’t go there.