Matt. 8:18-34 (Verse 19)
Large crowds were following Jesus;
Perhaps, the largest crowds the area had ever seen.
He performed miracles all day long.
He was very tired.
He decided to take a boat to the other side of the Sea
He was moving toward the boat when a certain Scribe
came running up to Him.
“Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” (Verse 19).
That’s quite a commitment, “Master, I will follow thee
whithersoever thou goest.”
It seems to me that Jesus should have said, “Come on.”
“I want all the followers I can get.”
But He didn’t.
He said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the
air have nests; but the Son of
man hath not where to lay his head” (Verse 20).
He was saying, “I don’t even have a house or a bed.”
“It will cost you to follow me.”
“Count the cost.”
This is the problem.
Too many people make commitments they don’t keep.
It would be nice to have a thousand members in this
But what good is a thousand members that don’t attend?
Jesus wants us to make a commitment.
But what good is a commitment that we don’t keep?
An elderly pastor told his young replacement, “Keep
this Church as small as you
He didn’t mean don’t take in members.
He meant don’t take in members unless they have
counted the cost.
Make sure they’re saved first.
Church membership is worthless unless the Church
member meant it when he said, “Master,
I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Examine your commitment.
Was it real?
Or was it mostly talk?
It’s very important for us to understand the
difference between SAYING we will follow Jesus,
And actually following Jesus.
The evidence of salvation is not what we say.
It’s what we do.
Suddenly, a second man came running up to Jesus.
In essence, He said, “I’m will follow you too.”
“But I have to bury my father first” (Verse 21).
It seems to me that Jesus should have said, “I’m sorry
you lost your father.”
“You have my sympathy.”
“Go bury your father and hurry back.”
But He didn’t.
He said, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead”
Dr. Adam Smith tried to hire a guide to show him
around the Middle East.
The guide said, “I have to bury my father first.”
The strange thing about this is that the guide’s
father was alive and well.
He was sitting right there when the guide said it.
Dr. Smith found that the guide meant “I have to take
care of my father until he dies.”
Funerals are important.
Few doubt that Jesus would have let this young man
attend his father’s funeral when he died.
But Jesus was saying, “Don’t put off following me for
“Following me comes first.”
Some people want to say, “I will follow Jesus later
“Right now, I have to concentrate on my career, my
education, my crop, take care of
my family, etc.
Nothing is more important than following Jesus.
Jesus said, “He who loves father or mother more than
me is not worthy of me.”
“And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not
worthy of me.”
He wasn’t asking us to dishonor our parents.
Or to shirk our responsibilities to our children.
But He was saying, “Following me comes before anyone
or anything else.”
Jesus left the two men standing there.
He got into the boat.
His disciples followed Him.
The boat left shore.
Jesus went to sleep.
“And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea;”
Not an ordinary tempest.
A great tempest.
I personally believe Satan was trying to drown Jesus
and His disciples.
He didn’t want Jesus to go to the cross.
He didn’t want the Disciples to preach the gospel.
He didn’t want you to get saved.
He didn’t want you to follow Jesus.
The boat rocked furiously.
Luke said it was taking on water.
But Jesus didn‘t wake up.
“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying,
Lord, save us: we perish” (Verse 25).
They woke Him up.
They called Him “Lord.”
Is Jesus your Lord?
If you aren’t following Him, He’s not your Lord.
If He’s your Lord, you can’t be lukewarm about your
Church attendance and
You can’t do our own thing and run your own life.
You have to humble yourself.
If He’s your Lord, His will is your will.
Anyway, Jesus woke up and calmed the winds and the
The word Luke used for “calmed” is our word “muzzled.”
That’s what some people do to vicious dogs.
They muzzle them.
That’s what Jesus did to the winds and the sea.
He muzzled them.
But let’s notice something here.
The Disciples were following Jesus when a storm came
into their life.
Those who follow Jesus are opposing Satan.
Those who oppose Satan will quickly have Satan
If we follow Jesus, a storm will come into our life.
It happened to Peter.
It happened to Paul.
It happened to the Disciples.
It will happen to us.
Now, I want you to notice what the Disciples did when
the storm came up.
They didn’t forget who was in the boat with them.
They woke Him up.
He calmed the wind and the sea.
His disciples were amazed.
They marveled saying, “What manner of man is this,
that even the winds and the
sea obey him” (Verse 27)!
An ordinary man couldn’t do this.
But Jesus could.
A famous Methodist preacher named Dr. Charles Allen
played golf with one of his
Other Church members told Dr. Allen the man was easily
frustrated and very foul-mouthed
when he made a bad shot.
Dr. Allen had never heard the man say even one bad
He asked the man about it.
The man replied, “I control myself in the presence of
That prompted Dr. Allen to preach a sermon.
He said, “What a difference it would make, if Church
members realized we’re in the presence of Jesus.”
If we follow Jesus, storms will come into our life.
What a difference it would make, if Church members
realized we’re in the presence of Jesus.
He’s in the boat with us.
He can muzzle the storm.
“And when he was come to the other side into the
country of the Gergesenes, there met him two
possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no
man might pass
by that way” (Verse 28).
The boat landed in Gentile territory.
We don’t know the exact location.
But we know it was somewhere near the area called the
“Golan Heights” today.
Jesus started into town.
Two demon-possessed men ran toward Him.
Their appearance is a matter of speculation.
We assume their hair was dirty and matted;
Their faces were gaunt, pale and unshaven;
Their clothes were rags.
Jesus probably heard the rattle of chains as they
One man had broken chains hanging from his wrists and
ankles (Mark 5:4).
The town’s people could hear their screams day and
Blood curdling screams that probably made the hair
stand up on the back of their neck.
These men would cut themselves with sharp stones.
They were probably covered with bruises, dried blood
We cannot imagine how terrible they looked and
It was unpleasant at best.
We notice that they lived among the dead.
They came out of the tombs.
That’s where some of the mentally ill lived in those
Their relatives tried to take care of them.
But some were violent.
That’s why their fearful relatives took them to live
in the caves of the dead.
Those who were deemed too violent were often chained
to the wall.
Anyway, these men ran toward Jesus.
He asked one, “What is thy name?”
“And he answered him saying, My name is Legion: for we
are many” (Mark
A legion in the Roman army contained three to six
So most commentators believe each one of these men was
indwelt by three to six thousand
What is a demon?
Many preachers say that a demon is a fallen angel that
followed Satan in his rebellion against
That a demon is a disembodied spirit that does the
will of Satan.
In the Bible, demons:
Caused mental illness (Matt. 8:28; 17:15),
Caused people to go blind (Matt. 12:22),
Caused people to harm themselves (Mk. 5:5),
people to be paralyzed (Luke 13:11),
Caused people to be deaf (Mk. 9:35),
6) They kept people from speaking
How do people become demon possessed?
One expert said, “there are at least six different
groups [of people] that are more likely to become demon possessed than others.”
Those who enter into a covenant with Satan to sell
Those who dabble in the occult, Black Magic, Horoscopes, Astrology,
Fortune Telling, Séances, and Satan Worship.
Those who use alcohol and drugs.
Those who practice false religions.
Those who indulge in sexual abuse and promiscuity.
Those who are blasphemers and morally corrupt.
Anyway, two demon-possessed men ran toward Jesus.
We don’t know how they got in the condition they were
They could have been born mentally ill.
They could have been terrible sinners in their
But living among the dead didn’t help.
Why would sin be a problem?
The Bible says sin leaves us open to the power of
Dr. Billy Graham said, “We yield to temptation.”
“It becomes easier to yield the next time.”
“Then, we become slaves to lust, passion and our own
He was saying, “Demon possession is a step-by-step
“A person indulges in sin.”
“He refuses to repent.”
“He sins again and again.”
“And before he realizes it, Satan or one of his demons
“And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to
do with thee, Jesus, thou Son
“Art thou come hither to torment us before the time”
Notice four things:
1st---The demons recognized Jesus.
Most of the Jewish religious leaders didn’t recognize
But the demons recognized Him.
2nd---The demons asked, “What have we to do
They were really saying, “Get out of my life.”
What a terrible mistake!
But many people don’t want Jesus in their life today.
They don’t want to be bound by what the Bible says.
They don’t want the Ten Commandments posted.
They don’t want Hot Cross Buns or license plates that
say, “Choose Life.”
3rd---The demons referred to Jesus as “thou
Son of God.”
They knew that Jesus is the Son of God.
James said, “The devils also believe, and tremble”
The world has had the New Testament for two thousand
But Satan and his demons know more about Jesus than
most of humanity.
Do you think you know as much about Jesus as the
That’s something to think about.
Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to stand before Jesus and
not know as much about Jesus as the
And yet, we all know that the Church is full of Bible
And 4th---The demons asked, “Art thou come
hither to torment us before the time?”
The demons knew that God has appointed a time of
They knew the power of God.
And they were afraid of the power of God.
Are you ignoring the time of Judgment?
Don’t make that mistake.
Next, Matthew said, “And there was a good way off from
them an herd of many swine feeding.”
“So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us
out, suffer us to go away into the herd of
swine” (Verses 30-31).
The demons wanted to play “Let’s Make A Deal.”
Demons don’t have a body.
They want to possess a body.
They even believed they would be better off to possess
a pig’s body,
And live in a pig pen, than to be cast into hell.
Many people ignore the idea of being cast into hell.
But those who are cast into hell would be better off
to possess a pig’s body and live in a pig
“And he [Jesus] said unto them, Go. And when they were
come out, they went into the herd
“And, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently
down a steep place into the sea, and
perished in the waters” (Verse 32).
The pigs killed themselves.
Why did Jesus allow the demons to indwell the pigs
when He knew the pigs would kill
I believe He was showing us what demon possession
Demons want to possess a body.
But demons will ultimately destroy that body.
that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told everything,
befallen to the possessed of the devils.”
“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and
when they saw him, they
besought him that he would depart out of their coasts”
Those who were taking care of the pigs ran into the
city to tell everyone what happened.
Word spread like wildfire.
Everyone went out to see Jesus.
Did they follow Jesus?
They saw one of the men that had been possessed by the
demons sitting there, clothed
and in his right mind (Mark 5:15).
And they were afraid of Jesus.
They asked Him to leave.
Would you rather have the pigs in your life?
Or would you rather have Jesus in your life?
If you don’t follow Jesus, you have the pigs whether
you realize it or not.
You just don’t realize it yet.
Jesus got into the boat.
He started to leave.
On the surface, it looks like He was going to give
That’s a terrible thought.
Suppose you’re lost.
And Jesus gave you up.
If we choose to turn our back on Jesus, we are also
choosing to reap the
He will let us reap what we sow.
In the Book of Romans, Paul talks about wicked people
who ignored God.
Three times in four verses he said, “God gave them up”
God will give up on you.
But I don’t think that happened here.
One of the demoniacs ran up to the boat.
He wanted to follow Jesus (Mark 5:18).
But Jesus sent him back to share his testimony with
everyone he knew.
The man obeyed.
And the whole city accepted Jesus.
Then, everyone wanted Jesus to come back (Luke
We’ve looked at four events.
We’ve learned four things about following Jesus.
Count the cost.
Don’t put it off.
Expect a storm.
Witness to those around you.
Rev. George Truett was
invited to dine in the home of a wealthy Texan.
After dinner, his host took him to a place where they
could see in every direction.
The man pointed in front of him and said, “All of
those oil wells are mine.”
He pointed behind him and said, “All of those grain
fields are mine.”
He pointed to his left and said, “All of those cattle
He pointed to his right and said, “All of those trees
in that beautiful forest are mine.”
He paused expecting Rev. Truett
to complement him.
But Rev. Truett pointed
toward heaven and asked, “How much do you have up there?”
Are you following Jesus?
How much do you have up there?
You’re not going to be down here forever.
What are you doing about living up there?
You start by attending Church on Sunday;
By putting something in the offering plate when it is
And by using this altar as much as you possibly can.