Laurie asked:

When Jesus meets the people on the road that are afflicted with demons and he drives the demons out and they ask to go into the pigs, why do they ask to go into the pigs?

Mary Healey replied:

"... I think what's going on there is that Jesus taught elsewhere that demons seek for waterless places. So when these demons knew that Jesus was about to drive them out of this poor demonized man, and they didn't want to leave the region, they wanted to keep their grip, their evil demonic grip somehow on the region which I think is a hint to us that demons can be territorial and in fact the Church recognizes today that they can attach to houses they can attach to certain things ... Jesus allows them to go into the pigs which seems like a concession to the demons, and you think why would Jesus allow them to do what they wanted and the answer is because he outwits them at their own game.

They go into the pigs and they're unable to control the pigs. Their demonic rage and fury makes the whole herd of swine stampede over the cliff and into the water. And remember the demons search for waterless places, so the very last place that they wanted to go and the end of the story is essentially those demons are gone. They're totally defeated and in fact it's meant to make us think of a great oppressor of human beings, God's people in the old covenant pharaoh and the army's of pharaoh who also met their end in the water and were drowned by the Lord. So Jesus is doing a rescue like God resucued the people of Israel in the exodus."


Catholic Answers, "Do the Gospels Contradict?" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2014)

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Show air date: February 14, 2014

Name of show: Do the Gospels Contradict?

Guest comments by: Mary Healey

Question appeared in show: 50:38

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