Tuesday after the Transfiguration of our Lord
Scripture: St. Matthew 8:28-34 (NKJV)
28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. 33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.
The idea of demon possession is not merely the stuff of Hollywood horror films or ghost stories. The work of Satan, the great liar, is very real. We do not see many “traditional” cases of demon possession in our day and age. However, it is very common to see poor, tormented souls who seem physically normal and healthy, but are clearly troubled by dark influences on their spirit.
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray to be delivered from evil, from the power of the Evil One. That is because everyone in this life is a target for his wicked efforts. He seeks to hurt and confuse everyone. He works to keep the unbelievers in their ignorance and loneliness, and to keep Christians off balance and misdirected. The seriousness of this work against us all is not to be underestimated. It should never be dismissed as fiction. If the father of lies can make us believe that he is not a real threat, then our peril is even greater.
It is only by the Word of God and the work of our Lord Jesus that drives out the demons and cleanses our spirit. The Truth sets us free from the influence of “the father of lies.” The Truth tells us that the enemy has been overcome, and that there is life and forgiveness for those who believe and are baptized. The dangers of demonic lies are real, but the reality of our salvation in Jesus Christ crucified is even greater!
We pray: Lord God, forgive us our sins and deliver from evil; through Your merciful grace in Christ Jesus. Amen.