When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Himas they were coming out of the tombs.

They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:28-29)

Demons can attack people mentally, physically, or spiritually. Spiritually, they oppose true religion, promote that false, and control the occult. Intellectually, they advocate false ideologies, insanity, and mascochism.

Our Lord always recognized demonized people as being victims of powers beyond their control and in need of deliverance, not condemnation or exhortation. By calling Jesus “Son of God,” the demons controlling the Gadarene men showed they knew His true identity.

They recognized Him as their special antagonist who had the full authority to destroy them at will. Their question “Have You come here to torment us before the time?” further recognized that there is a God-ordained schedule, not yet completed, where He will relegate them to eternal damnation.

As in other subjects, the demons had a correct doctrine of last things. But such belief is mere recognition, not acceptance. James reveals that even they tremble at the consequences of unbelief: “the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19).

Demons despise everything about God and His Son. Yet they can’t do anything but pay Jesus the greatest demential respect when in His presence. That supports Paul’s teaching that one day at the name of Christ:

every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)

John MacArthur

Further reading