"However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, 'Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.'" Mark 5:19 NKJV
In this passage of scripture Jesus performs an incredible miracle for a man who was both infamous and dangerous in his community. All attempts to tame this man had failed. He spent his time roaming the rocks and mountainside crying out and cutting himself with stones. When this man encounters Jesus, however, his life and freedom are restored. Immediately, he falls at Jesus’ feet and commits his life to following Him. This time, however, Jesus does something seemingly odd in response. Whereas in the past we have seen Jesus accept the invitation of any who were willing, here Jesus does not permit the man to follow Him. Instead, he encourages him to go back home to the people who love him.
We don’t know what the follow up conversations with this man’s friends and family looked like, but we do know the effect that it had upon the region. The next time Jesus and His disciples would cross the Sea of Galilee into the place known as Ten Cities, they would be welcomed by thousands of people ready to hear from the Man that saved the “demoniac.” It was here that Jesus would perform His miracle of feeding the four thousand with only seven loaves of bread (Mark 8). No doubt the demoniac’s testimony set the stage for this miraculous encounter.
Think for a moment about what Jesus has done in your life that is remarkable? How has He redeemed your life? How could your testimony affect other people’s lives?
We ought to follow the example of the former demoniac. When Jesus restores our lives, the NEXT STEP we should take is to go home and tell those we love of the great things the Lord has done for us. Of course, those conversations may not always happen the way we expect, just as I’m sure they weren’t all easy for the demoniac. Some were joyful and some were painful. But in the end, everyone in the Ten Cities were waiting for Jesus’ return.
Wouldn’t that make sharing your story worth it?
Jesus, help me to be quick to tell people about Your greatness and compassion in my life. Help me to tell of Your extravagant love for them. I pray that I wouldn’t be too quick to run to the “next thing,” but instead to recognize that Your next step for me is to share Your love with those closest to me and see their lives changed forever. Help my family and friends to understand Your goodness. Lord, use my life to show others Your redeeming power.
In Jesus' name, Amen
Who in your family needs to know about God's greatness and compassion?
Who in your life needs to hear how God has helped you?
What are ways you can slow down your day in order to share God's love for those around?