A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. (Luke 8:32-33)
Pigs can swim. Pig Beach, part of the Exuma islands in the Bahamas, is a destination for swimming with pigs. One tourist tells of swimming with up to 400-pound pigs that nip, look sun burnt, and have floating excrement. She suggested money would be better spent on other excursions.
Pigs are considered unclean among Jews. They don’t eat pork and would never own a pig, so the demoniac was clearly a gentile. Previously in Luke, Jesus served a gentile centurion by saving his friend who was Jewish, but in this scripture, Jesus showed his disciples that gentiles as well as Jews were worthy to be saved.
After reading these verses, my first thought was why would Jesus kill the pigs and destroy the livelihood of the Garasenes? After a closer look, Jesus didn’t do that. He gave permission to the demons to enter the pigs instead of going to the Abyss. It was the demons who drove the pigs so insane they swam to the bottom of the ocean to kill themselves. Yes, Jesus knew the pigs would die as he knows Satan causes havoc in the world. But God has a purpose and havoc knocks us to our knees. And ironically, perhaps the demons ended up in the Abyss via springs located underneath the lake of Galilee.
Lord, since you feel demoniacs are worth saving, I know you feel I’m worth saving, too. Thank you for your love and mercy. Please send any demon attacking me, my family, my readers, or my friends, into the Abyss. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
2 thoughts on “Study Devotional – Day 196 – Commentary Luke 8:32-33 – Did Jesus kill the pigs?”
Swimming with the pigs would never be my idea of a fun vacation. I do not like pigs or hogs, they actually scare me. I had a client that lived on a farm and they had pigs and hogs. They were kept in a pen in the barn. I would go in the barn and see them on my way to visit the cows and horses, but I never got close. One day while I was there the truck came to get 3 hogs going to slaughter. It was a horrible ordeal getting them from the pen to the truck. It was if they knew what their destiny was. As much as I dislike them, I cried when the electric cattle prod was being used to get them in the truck. They made the most ghastly noises, the kind of noises that bad dreams are made of. I thought at the time that it was like being at an exorcism and I never knew the story in the bible about the pigs and the demons. We need to pray for the demons to stay away from friends and family and ask God to send them to the abyss.
You never told me that gruesome story before. It sounds like animal cruelty. I’m glad I don’t eat much pork. Evil does a lot of damage in the world! I pray a lot too.