Mark 5:18-20 Common English Bible
While he was climbing into the boat, the one who had been demon-possessed pleaded with Jesus to let him come along as one of his disciples. But Jesus wouldn’t allow it. “Go home to your own people,” Jesus said, “and tell them what the Lord has done for you and how he has shown you mercy.” The man went away and began to proclaim in the Ten Cities all that Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed.
I don’t know about you, but when I am excited or passionate about something, I jump in…all in. The man who had been under the control of an evil entity was obviously ready too. He wanted to follow the action. He wanted to be a part of the excitement and to be a part of something much greater than himself. He was changed and he was ready to see more. But Jesus gave him the stay at home order.
Why would Jesus refuse to allow him to follow and then permit him to speak openly? Jesus knew that his witness would be much more powerful among those who had known him when his body had been taken over by unclean spirits. By going to his own people in the Decapolis (the Ten Cities) he’d be talking about Jesus to the very same people who had chained his hands and shackled his feet. He would explain the miracle to the very same people who had heard him cry out day and night among the tombs and in the mountains.
Sometimes God sends us places to work, to share, to open ourselves and to help grow the Kingdom. Sometimes God calls us to do this right in our own back yards. No matter where, can you hear God’s voice calling you in new ways to serve?
Throughout time, you have encountered ordinary people who have come to do extraordinary things in Your name. Through your love, may we show others that we encounter the grace, the wholeness and mercy that you offer. May we be affirmers and builders of life and builders of Your Kingdom now and the Kingdom to come. May we seek to serve You with the magnitude of generosity that you’ve given us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Michael Williams