Formations lesson for March 3: Son of God
February 8 2002 by Steve Zimmerman , Matthew 8:28-34

Formations lesson for March 3: Son of God | Friday, Feb. 8, 2002

Friday, Feb. 8, 2002

Formations lesson for March 3: Son of God

By Steve Zimmerman Matthew 8:28-34

According to Webster's dictionary, irony is described as "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result." Irony is what you thought was going to happen but didn't.

The Bible is full of irony. This week's study is mired in it. From the beginning to the end you see different results to the desired wishes for people in this story.

The Demon's Reaction

(Matthew 8:28-31)

Even before talking to the demoniacs, Jesus did an ironic act of love. In His culture, Jews did not associate with Gentiles. Yet what we find here is that Christ took the initiative and left the comfort of Capernaum to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and befriend Gentiles in need. The early stage of Jesus' earthly ministry is set. He sees the true need and not the constraints of society. He goes to everyone and is not expecting them to come to Him. What does this say about our worldview of missions today?

The demons in these verses knew the power of Jesus to heal. They knew Him as the Son of God. They thought that if they could reside in the pigs, considered by Jews to be unclean, that they would be just fine. As we read in this passage not even the pigs were safe around them. What an impression this incident made on these new Jewish disciples of Jesus!

The Master's Reaction

(Matthew 8:32)

Jesus does not go into any great theological rationale why the demons are where they are in history, why they are acting the way they are, and the rational of the demons request. He simply says, "Go!"

This incident serves as a reminder that we serve a powerful God when his Son says only one word and demons come out! The irony is that our God does not need many words to get his point across.

The People's Reaction

(Matthew 8:33-34)

Right in front of their eyes these Gentiles had seen a divine miracle take place. But instead of spreading the good news around, they had to broadcast the bad. Some things never change. Rather than "Come see two people renewed by God!" they in turn go about sharing "Help us get rid of this Jew!"

We really can't blame too much on these heathens, though. How ironic is it for us today as Christians to see God's blessings among us and convey only bad news. What kind of good message are we sending to new Christians who come during the invitation of a Sunday worship service only to see some church members leave through the sanctuary's back doors immediately following the benediction?

The pagans also had a problem with Jesus' power in their lives. These Gentiles had an opportunity to see first hand the magnitude of His power. Instead of embracing this new heavenly power for their lives, they ironically settled for the status quo that fit their lifestyles. Maybe they viewed property damage as a higher value than destruction of evil in their midst. They may have gotten used to the habits of the demoniacs in their midst. There is no mention in the Bible that they were the ones who wanted to get rid of these demons anyway. Now there is silence and calm from the two people the Son of God saved. You can almost hear them say, "Now what do we do with them?"

We back off, too, when it comes to seeing Jesus for what He can really do for us. Instead of asking to change us, we ask Him to leave us alone. We want to live with our own controls and not be under any other power, especially a supernatural one that can turn our world right side up.

Yet the most unusual thing for us is to call Jesus the Son of God for our lives and yet allow Him no room to have any power in our homes, churches or society. Now how ironic can you get?

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2/8/2002 12:00:00 AM by Steve Zimmerman , Matthew 8:28-34 | with 0 comments
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