Tiger, Lyin’ and Behr Oh My! – Jesus Meets the Demons

Tiger Woods has had his share of problems. He turned to adultery, filled the first nine, uh spots on his scorecard and started filling out his scorecard for the back nine.

For those of you who don’t understand golf, like me, it is usually 18 holes (except for miniature golf which usually has 19 holes) and you call the first nine the front nine and the last nine as the back nine. Your scorecard is totaled for the first nine holes and then totaled for the back nine. Those two numbers are then added together.

Anyway, Tiger stayed away from golf for around five months or so attending sex therapy, lost millions in product sponsorships, got divorced and cannot see his children with anyone he dates in the future. If he gets married, he may child visits with the new spouse. And he also had to give millions of dollars – I believe the largest divorce settlement in the United States.

You might say Tiger had his share of demons, like uncontrollable lust.

Many people go through problems like Tiger; their problems are just as bad to them and often they don’t see the root cause of the problem. It’s like when you can’t see the forest for the trees.

I have known many people, myself included, that were blind to the cause of their problems. They all, myself included, were constantly lyin’ and setting the blame for their problems on everyone else.

I spent 7 years of my life in a situation. When I first started to fall into this situation, my best friend grabbed me by the arm and yelled at me (or so I thought at the time) “Let’s get you home and physically was dragging me away. I broke his grip and stayed.

Well, Ken, I should have listened to you, but it did result in me coming out to California and starting over. Even after that, I was still lyin’ about it. It took me years to come to grips with it.

Not seeing my problems root cause and then lyin’ which just reinforced it caused me a lot of grief down the line. I had my own demons, did not see them and was lyin’ about them.

Now that we have seen the Tiger and the Lyin’, we get to see the Behr. This is not your momma’s or your papa’s bear.

There is a paint with the brand name of Behr, spelled B-E–H–R. You may have seen the advertisements that you do not need to prime the wood or wall before you paint – the primer is built in.

Some of you may know nothing about painting. I used to know nothing and then learned a lot about it by going to the School of Hard Knocks and learning through trial and error and a lot of wasted paint, so I will give you a crash course.

If you have painted and then discovered patches that seem like you missed some areas, you may have seen the results of not priming. Unfinished wood or scratches in the previous paint will soak up the paint and you will get a very thin coat of paint you can see through.

If you have ever painted a wall and then found it peeling off a day to a week later, you are seeing the effects of not priming. The moisture just lifts the new paint off the surface.

If you have ever had kids whose creative efforts led them to color expansive murals on the walls with crayons and then painted after they went to college, you will see the artwork bleed through the paint even at your best efforts to scrub the crayon off. The residual wax will show.

A primer seals these imperfections so the paint will then cover, usually with one coat. Behr paint with the primer built in allows you to just go ahead and cover up all the nasties, leaks, marks and other defects with one coat. Small shallow dents and scratches may even me filled in with a second coat.

The Behr paint will mask all the bad stuff, but that bad stuff will still be underneath.

Just imagine a real nasty person who from a distance, or even up close is unbelievably beautiful. You may even know someone like this.

Beautiful, until they act with such vitriolic actions that just scald you permanently. You see their Behr paint job worked really well. It covered those demons underneath.

Notice that I have said the above people in the situations had their own demons. Well, we often exaggerate somewhat. Whether these people had real demons inside of them can only be known by God. The people with real demons in them at the present is another matter. We can fight them.

The following demons are not your papa’s or momma’s demons. These are real demons that take over people and cause them and others loads of trouble.

Matthew saw first-hand some real downright vile demons. Turn to:

Matthew 8:28-34 (NIV)
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.
29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.
31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.
34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Jesus arrived at the land that the tribe of Gad, one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. This tribe disobeyed God and stayed on the wrong side of the Jordan when the land was being divided up among the twelve tribes.

There were also gentiles living in the area. The gentiles raised pigs in one of the little towns. Pigs were considered unclean and the Jews would have nothing to do with them, or the gentiles for that matter.

We do not know much about demons today. A pastor I know in some of his trips in some of the third-world countries has come across quite a few cases of demonic possession. He has also seen at least two cases here in the United States.

Demons, for whatever reason seem to like being inside people, rather than being just in spirit form. They like to have a bodily presence.

Demons are really vile, evil spirits. When they are possessing a human, they can make that person extremely violent. In fact, these demons living in the tombs that Matthew described were so violent no one could come near them.

Matthew referred to the demons as violent. Now this violence is not today’s violence like yelling or screaming or punching you in the mouth. Violence in Jesus’ time was real violence, like flaying with whips, impaling, crucifixion and gut-tearing violent deaths.

With really violent demons in control of these two men, it is no wonder that people stayed away. Jesus, however, must have seen the good in the possessed people and the violent demons didn’t seem to bother the Son of God and he approached the men.

When Jesus approached, several amazing things are witnessed.

First, the demons immediately recognized Jesus as the Son of God and addressed Him as such. Even Satan, the leader of all the demons, acknowledged Jesus to be the Son of God. He even tried unsuccessfully to tempt him.

Second, they already knew that Jesus would be returning to the earth in the future! Listen to what they said to Jesus: Matthew 8:29 (NIV)
29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

The demons recognize there is an “Appointed Time” where Jesus will be returning to clean up the evil. The demons know they will be tortured and thrown into the tortuous bowels of hell, that lake of fire, for all eternity.

The demons already knew their ultimate fate. They were just trying to cause as much havoc as possible before their final un-resting place.

It is also interesting to note the demons somehow knew that this particular time Jesus had not arrived for their final punishment. They just asked Jesus if He was there to torture them before the appointed time.

Remember demons are the fallen angles that joined Satan’s side when Satan was thrown out of heaven by God. Remember that angles are spirits and have no physical form.

Demons are driven to reside inside people that have weakened to allow them and even invite them inside their bodies. They seem to sometimes prefer this to staying in spirit form. They are comfortable in this physical state.

The demons also knew in advance that Jesus was going to drive them out of the men they possessed. They basically begged Jesus to drive them into the pigs. See, even demons have the sense to admit their weaknesses against Jesus.

The demons, knowing that Jesus would drive them out of their comfort zone, asked Him to let them go into the pigs. Evidently, the demons cannot go into animals, but the demons had the faith that Jesus could enable them to do so. This is strange that even demons can have faith in Jesus in certain circumstances.

By just a single word, “Go!”, Jesus then drove the demons into the heard of pigs. What happened next was either caused by Jesus or the heard of pigs could not stand the demons inside of them: the pigs ran down the bank and drowned. The bank was so steep that they could not get out if they had wanted to.

Around 2,000 pigs were drowned then. That is a lot of wealth that was destroyed that day and the herdsmen, who were responsible for the pigs, went into town to explain how the town’s pigs were destroyed. I don’t blame them for wanting to immediately proclaim their innocence. That was at least $600,000 in today’s value.

The herdsmen also told he town about the men whom Jesus drove the demons out of. Matthew referred to them as demon-possessed.

The New American Standard Bible translation calls them de-mon-iacs.

The first thing the towns people did was rush to where Jesus was. They then asked Him to leave town.

Even though the townspeople had heard how Jesus cleansed the two people of the demons, the only thing they cared about were their pigs. I am sure if they had marveled about the two men being freed from the demons, Matthew or the other apostles would have reported that.

Oh well, they were gentiles! Maybe these particular gentiles were not yet ready to accept Jesus as the Son of God even though the demons unquestionably accepted that fact.

So how do we deal with real demons or even those troubles that we perceive to be demons in our lives?

Here is what we know:

  • Demons sometimes like to reside inside of humans.
  • Demons accept the ultimate power of Jesus over them.

We can just call on Jesus to rid us of the demons!

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we get the indwelling spirit of the Holy Ghost. As long as we remain in the state of grace, we are protected from the demons.

Where us humans get into trouble is that we can sin and fall from grace. See, they don’t call demons “fallen angels” for nothing! We all can fall.

The real good news is that we can call on Jesus to drive the demons out. All it takes is the faith in Jesus and the word “GO”!

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