Go and Tell

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. (Mark 5:18-20)

The one set free from a lifetime of torment and torture was not always so 'grateful' and 'trusting' toward Jesus. When Jesus first sees the man who was demon-possessed, he asked Jesus to leave him alone - to not change anything in his life. He actually saw Jesus as 'interfering' with his lifestyle. Tortured though he was, the evil spirit within him didn't want to leave him. Jesus wasn't put off by the demons asking to stay. "Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place." (vs. 9-10) Why was this man's healing so long coming? Why is our deliverance so long coming? Could it be that Jesus is just waiting for us to be honest about what it is that is troubling us? 

At first, the demons did not want to leave - they had become comfortable right where they were. There was a 'willing host' and they weren't excited to be leaving. What do we hold onto that has become comfortable to us that is actually holding us back, bringing us down, and causing us so much misery. Like the man tormented by so many demons, we might just need to identify what it is and then be willing to let it go! The demons leave the man at Jesus' command and enter a herd of pigs, who promptly run wildly from their keepers and straight off a cliff. Nothing remains when Jesus utters the words of deliverance, my friends. We can rest assured that whatever it is that troubles our hearts is of concern to Jesus and his word is all it takes to change the course of what has been happening within us.

The man was free. The pig keepers were stunned. The crowds were amazed, but also a bit afraid. Why? When God displays his power in our lives, it can be a little frightening at times. We may not understand how he works, but we can always see evidence of his work. The change may be immediate, like it was for this man, but it could be gradual in revealing itself. Either way, our commission is to go and tell - all that Jesus has done in us is a message of what he can do in others, as well. Just sayin!


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