In the Decapolis

Today's devotion from Mark 5. There are television shows that were named after Jesus' encounter with the possessed man in Gerasenes. This man's life must have been torturous. He lived in caves. The people had stopped trying to help him. They couldn't even constrain him in order to protect him. While chains could not hold him, Jesus was able to command him. The idea and concept of Legion has captured the imaginations of many.

Jesus heals this man with a word. That is all it takes for the Son of God to free this man of the terrible anguish caused by his demonic tormentor. The response was twofold. The people of the region were so overwhelmed that they begged Jesus to leave. The man who was freed begged to stay with Him. It is this second response that I find so beautiful, and Jesus' response to him that I find so powerful.

Jesus denies this man's request. This doesn't make sense. Jesus has disciples, so why can't this man follow along with Him as so many others do? The answer is in testimony. Many people came to Jesus looking for that which this man had already found. He had found Jesus' true nature. The Lord didn't need another disciple. He desired a witness, "Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19, CSB)

Jesus hasn't just worked miraculously in your life to accumulate another follower. Jesus has commissioned His follower to go and tell. This man will return to the Decapolis. He will tell his story over and over to the people there. As he does, the people were amazed at what he said. I think we are given this detail because this man's proclamations in the Decapolis get the people ready for Jesus' own visit in Mark 7.

What if your telling your own story to your own people is important today because of what Jesus has planned for tomorrow? Don't waste the opportunity to honor God and glorify Jesus. Don't be afraid to tell your story when you have the chance.