This reading is part of Matthew Chapter 8. It follows Chapter 5-7 which covers the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount has shown Jesus as the New Moses, and now in Chapter 8 is showing his readers that he is much more than Moses, that Jesus’ roots are divine.
In the passage before this, Matthew shows Jesus manifesting his divine power over nature by calming the storm. His disciples are astounded and exclaim “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him? (Mt 8: 23-27).
Now Matthew in this passage shows Jesus as the Lord of Creation, i.e The God before whom all Heaven, Earth and the underworld bows before. Jesus enters a Gentile territory and is met by two fierce demoniacs coming out of the nearby tombs. They immediately recognise Jesus as the “Son of God”, the one who has “authority” over them, and that they will be cast out. Hence they plead with Jesus to be sent into the unclean herd of swine, and Jesus allows them only to return to the abode of evil (as was the understanding of that time), i.e. the sea. 1 John 3:8 testifies to this, “the Son of God appeared to destroy all the works of the devil.”
The people failed to grasp and understand the “power” and “authority” of Jesus as the ‘Son of God’, who has power to judge everyone. Philippians 2:10-11 gives us the proper understanding, “at the name of the Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus the Messiah is Lord, to glory of God the Father.”
Do we believe this truth? We have nothing to fear when we have Jesus with us.