During the course of my readings of the Gospels to find teachings of Jesus that had some validity for me, I also could not help but make certain observations about the Gospels themselves.
One thing that struck me in particular when reading about Jesus’ peregrinations throughout Judea and Galilee was the numbers of demons that he is reported to have encountered. In Matthew 8:14, Jesus is staying at the house of Peter and “many who were demon possessed were brought to him.” A little further on, in Matthew 8:28-32, Jesus encounters two demon possessed men in the region of the Gaderenes. In Matthew 9:32-33, a demon possessed man is brought to Jesus and another demon-possessed man is brought to him in Matthew 12:22, though it seems to be a repeat of Matthew 9:32-33. Another demon encounter is described in Luke 4:33-34. There are other examples, but I think you get the point.
For a land that is supposed to be God’s Holy Land, it seems that there were an awful lot of demons roaming the countryside. In Mark 3:14, Jesus even gives his disciples “authority to drive out demons.” Apparently, there were more demons than even HE could handle! Heck, the Galilee must have been the demon capital of the world, if the Gospels are really to be believed.
Of course, this begs the question, if Christians believe that the Gospels are true stories and the Holy Land was infested with demon possessed people, then why isn’t the land filled with demon possessed people today? Or are we to believe that Palestinian suicide bombers are really possessed by demons rather than by a cold blooded and callous certainty that they are striking a blow for their cause regardless of how many innocent Israeli civilian lives they destroy?
Other Christians will probably say that the people described in the Gospels as being possessed by demons really suffered from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and that Jesus was really healing these mental illnesses. The people who suffered from these mental disorders were believed by their contemporaries to be possessed by demons because these disorders were not medically diagnosed during the time of Jesus. This then begs the question as to why Jesus is not quoted in the Gospels as telling his followers that people reportedly suffering from demon possession in fact had psychiatric problems. After all, if Jesus was really the son of the all-knowing and all-powerful Creator of the Universe, surely he must have known this to be the case. Imagine how many skeptics today could have been convinced that Jesus really was divine if Jesus was quoted in the Gospels educating his disciples about schizophrenia. Instead, we are treated to parables about how the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed.