“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19
Sometimes you hear something so good; you know it must be shared. That’s the way I felt about this week’s staff chapel. Mike preached about the demoniac of Gadara and reminded us that this man was possessed by “a legion” of demons, was an outcast who lived among the tombs, and was so powerful that even chains couldn’t contain him.
When the demon-possessed man approached Jesus, he tried to ward him off, begging him not to torture him. Instead, Jesus set the man free from the misery that he had endured for, probably, a very long time. He sent the legion of demons into a nearby herd of pigs—approximately two thousand of them—who plunged into the water and drowned. Pretty amazing story. But there’s more…
Jesus prepared to go on with his journey and was getting into a boat when the freed man came after him begging to go with him. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry we read how he went about the seashore calling specific men out to follow him. And now this joyous man wants to do just that—he wants to follow and be with Jesus. Instead, Jesus tells him to go home and tell people what the Lord has done for him. And so the man obeyed and went about the Decapolis telling what Jesus had done.
Mike didn’t leave the story there. He speculated that in future days Jesus’ new disciple would have times of temptation; there would be days of depression; he might even become discouraged. And that’s when he could remember what Jesus had done for him. He was the man who had had a legion of demons, and Jesus had set him free. He was a man who was ostracized and had to live apart from society, but Jesus delivered him. He was a man with no friends or companions in his journey, but he became part of the family of God. And on it went. Jesus sent him off to go and tell and to embrace with thanksgiving the story of the radical transformation of his life and the grace of God that had set him free.
And so it goes. Jesus touches us, often in miraculous ways, not just for that specific moment in time but for all eternity that we might give thanks for his mercy and love in saving us. So, what difference does the trial of the moment make? We remember God’s remarkable, amazing love that touched and changed us. We remember his liberating power.
We cultivate an attitude of gratitude and press on in thanksgiving.
Father, eternity will not be long enough for us to glorify you, so we will begin now. AMEN.