Unlimited: The First Missionary to the Gentiles
Nov 25, 2020 526
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So, the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed (Mark 5:18–20, NIV).
Jesus was asked to leave the region of the Gerasenes after casting out many demons from a man. Surprisingly, the people who lived there were not grateful for what Jesus had done.
But the man who’s been liberated from the power of the Satan certainly is grateful, and he wants to follow Jesus.
Here is an interesting paradox! A little earlier in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus healed a Jewish leper and told him not to tell anyone. Now he healed a demon-possessed pagan man, and he told him to go to his own people and to the non-Jewish cities in the region and tell them what Jesus had done for him. Go figure! How can we explain this?
Jesus knew that his own people would oppose him and that they would try to put an end to his ministry quickly. He needed more time to lovingly teach them what God wanted for them.
But he also knew that the many of the Gentiles would eventually joyfully embrace his message.
And so, this man, who had been thrown out of civilised society because of his violent demon-possession, became the very first missionary to the Gentiles.
There’s also a great spiritual lesson in this story. Often, when we’ve experienced the blessings of Jesus, we want to serve him, and we think that we can do that by praying a lot, and being in church and with other believers.
Those things are important. But if you want to do God’s will, he asks us to go back to our families, our neighbourhoods, and our communities, and tell them what Jesus has done in our lives.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Why don’t you make a start? Think of one person whom you know and who needs to know Jesus. Prayerfully make a plan for how you are going to share with that person what Jesus has done for you. Then go and do it.