I don't know about you, but I find it fascinating what comes out of the mouths of demons and spirits in the New Testament. Though they seem to ravage many souls and are found everywhere in Jesus' daily jaunt through the community, they do not seem so cinematic in the presence of the Messiah.
They act like naughty bullies caught in the act.
And bullies they are. Tormenting, scaring, manipulating and badgering.
But evil glaring faces and ghoulish countenances back off meekly when face to face with the Son of God.
"What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time? Swear to God that you won't torture me!"
They recognize who Jesus is, calling him by his earthly name, "Jesus" and his heavenly name, "Son of the Most High God." They know Jesus has power and authority over them. They know their fate is coming soon when they will be "tortured" at some "appointed time."
And they know Jesus will follow his Father's will to the letter. That Jesus will rein himself in until that unknown appointed time.
Imagine the patience it took from Jesus not to just come and cleanse the entire world of all its evil. What was he waiting for? What is God waiting for? Why is all this suffering continuing when at the clearing of the Messiah's throat, all bullying demons could be quieted and all could be restored?
I do not have the answers to these questions except I know God's plan and timing are perfect. And I know, the self control and reining in of the Messiah's tongue must be because of his incredible love and grace for us.
The appointed time will come when all that has been harassing creation will not only be silenced but tortured. That's a very graphic picture.
Jesus declares later, that if he so desired, he could call down his legions.
But he decided, instead, to do the Father's will, remain silent and go to the cross.
Though his white stallion is champing at the bit, Jesus is saying, "Whoa, Boy, not just yet."