Mark 4:30-34, 35-41, 5:1-20; Matthew 13:31-35, 24-30, 36-52, 8:23-27, 28-34; Luke 13:18-21, 8:22-25, 26-39
The man had lived for years in a cave like a rabid dog. He was out of his mind, wild and violent. No one could get near him. But when he met Jesus all that changed. Jesus healed the man and restored his sanity.
The townspeople saw the man clothed, sitting with Jesus and in his right mind. And they were afraid. This miracle was beyond anything they had ever seen. Their reaction? They asked Jesus to leave.
So Jesus left the area and the man begged to go with him. I certainly can understand that. He wanted to stay near to Jesus where he was safe and accepted. But Jesus told the man he wanted him to go back into his hometown and tell the people there how much God had done for him. The man obeyed.
I think the hardest people to witness to may be the people who know you the best. They know your secrets. They’ve seen you lose your temper. If you were saved as an adult, they know the lifestyle you led before Christ. This man knew the townspeople had seen him naked and violent and crazy. He was probably the butt of a lot of jokes and the stories about his antics were probably exaggerated.
But Jesus told the man to go home, look those scoffers in the eye, and tell them how God changed his life. He wanted the man to live with those people and demonstrate the difference Jesus had made.
He wants us to do that, too. A mission field isn’t always across the ocean. It’s in our living rooms, our neighborhoods, our work places. Every day there is someone we meet who needs to know how God has changed us. They need to see in us something better than what they have without Christ. Yes, we might have to accept the fact that they look at us with suspicion because they know we aren’t perfect. But that doesn’t release us from the responsibility, and the privilege we have to share the Savior with them.
I pray God will give you the opportunity to tell someone today how much he has done for you. Like the man we read about today, let’s be obedient. Is that too much to ask of us who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? I don’t think so.