In today’s Bible reading (Mark 5), we read about a man who lived in the Gadera cemetery. He was possessed by a legion (3000-6000!) of demons. No one could contain him. He would often break out of shackles. He desperately wanted to be free!
Jesus did just that by sending all those demons into a nearby herd of pigs that immediately drowned themselves. I’m sure that the pig herders were not a little bit happy that two thousand of their pigs died that day! It’s noteworthy that the place where this happened was a Gentile region on the Eastern side of the Jordan River. Jesus was ministering in this area that was inhabited by Gentiles. Hmmm. This was before Paul was called to evangelize Gentiles. It goes to show that Jesus’ plan all along was to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham to bless all nations through his offspring (ie., Jesus)
The townspeople came to Jesus and found the formerly demon-possessed man, wearing clothes and in his right mind; perhaps that was something they had never seen before. They were afraid and begged Jesus to leave their region.
As Jesus was leaving, the man begged Jesus to let him accompany him, but Jesus told him to go back and tell his own people what happened. He did just that, going through the entire region telling his story. The people who heard him were amazed. (Mark 5:20)
At Jesus’ insistence, rather than doing the comfortable thing — staying with Jesus as He ministered — he went back to his people.
I have found that for many of us, it’s easier to go on a mission trip and tell perfect strangers about Jesus than it is to tell your story to people who know you. But that’s exactly what we’re called to do. Yes, we’re called to take the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. But as we’ve seen at church in our sermon series through the book of Acts, Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and stay until they had received the promised Holy Spirit; the Spirit would empower them to tell people about Jesus in Jerusalem, as well as Judea (the region South of Jerusalem), Samaria (the region North of Jerusalem) and everywhere else (Acts 1:8). But it starts where you are.
Do you know Jesus? If so, what changes has He made in your life? Note: if you know Him, He will change your life!
Have you told the people you live with? Have you told the people you work with? Have you told people you encounter on a normal basis?
Jesus hasn’t left us to try to muster up the boldness to prepare a long dissertation or to preach a long theology-rich sermon. He simply gives us His Holy Spirit, Who gives us the power to be bold in telling our story. And nobody can tell your story but you! Let the Holy Spirit move in you to change your life and to give you the boldness and clarity you need to tell your story.
By the way, it’s impossible to mess this up!