Matthew 8:29

Thou Son of God (uie tou qeou). The recognition of Jesus by the demons is surprising. The whole subject of demonology is difficult. Some hold that it is merely the ancient way of describing disease. But that does not explain the situation here. Jesus is represented as treating the demons as real existences separate from the human personality. Missionaries in China today claim that they have seen demons cast out. The devil knew Jesus clearly and it is not strange that Jesus was recognized by the devil's agents. They know that there is nothing in common between them and the Son of God (hmin kai soi, ethical dative) and they fear torment "before the time" (pro kairou). Usually ta daimonia is the word in the New Testament for demons, but in Luke 8:31 we have oi daimone (the only example in the N.T.). Daimonion is a diminutive of daimwn. In Homer daimwn is used synonymously with qeo and qea. Hesiod employed daimwn of men of the golden age as tutelary deities. Homer has the adjective daimonio usually in an evil sense. Empedocles considered the demons both bad and good. They were thus used to relieve the gods and goddesses of much rascality. Grote (History of Greece) notes that the Christians were thus by pagan usage justified in calling idolatry the worship of demons. See 1 Corinthians 10:20 ; 1 Timothy 4:1 ; Revelation 9:20 ; Revelation 16:13 f. In the Gospels demons are the same as unclean spirits ( Mark 5:12 Mark 5:15 ; Mark 3:22 Mark 3:30 ; Luke 4:33 ). The demons are disturbers (Vincent) of the whole life of man ( Mark 5:2 ; Mark 7:25 ; Matthew 12:45 ; Luke 13:11 Luke 13:16 ).