My Forbidden Bible Verses post last week looked at Matthew 8:28-34, the account the deliverance of the men near Gadara of their many demons.

This is often referred to as the story of the Gadarene swine, since Jesus sent the demons into a flock of pigs which ran off a cliff into the Sea of Galilee.

The townspeople were no doubt upset at the loss of their pigs. However, more importantly, they were alarmed by Jesus’s divine power and, instead of considering His miracle as being of God, actively rejected Him. Tomorrow’s post will reveal what happened to them. (If you’re reading this on August 27 into August 28, 2015, the link is not yet live.)

Many people today, Christians and secularists, find this healing miracle of deliverance disturbing because Jesus, at the demons’ request, drove them into the swine. The demons were so powerful that they drove the swine into the sea. Therefore, the modern conclusion is that Jesus was cruel in doing that to helpless pigs.

However, John MacArthur tells us that Jesus had to do it for reasons of human understanding:

Why?  Because if He’d just said, “Demons leave,” nobody would have known whether they left or where they went … But when you watch two thousand pigs dive off a cliff and drown in the sea, they knew exactly what had happened, that the demons had entered those pigs, which proved the point that He had cleansed those two men.

This is an important — and essential — point to explain to people who object to our Lord’s actions in this healing. Everything He did — and does — serves a divine purpose.