“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 family 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).
You can’t blame this man for wanting to go with Jesus.
I’m sure I would feel the same way.
But Jesus tells him to stay where he is. This is not punishment but a higher calling. “Go home and tell your family.” That’s the right place to start. No one had suffered more because of his demonic possession. They would be the best judges of the change in his life.
It was better for the man to stay there among his own people. They needed him, and he needed to be there. No doubt his request was sincere. He may have feared, “If you leave, I’ll fall back into the old way of life again.” That’s a very natural fear. But he didn’t understand that nothing would steady him in his new life like continuing to tell the story of his deliverance.
Children love to play “Show and Tell.” Jesus instructs the man to “Go and tell.” Go to the people you know best and tell the thing you know best—what God has done for you. Jesus did the kind thing by leaving him behind. He would be a living reminder of God’s power. This is where all missionary outreach begins. Start where you are and tell what you know. Jesus found a demoniac and left behind a missionary.
Go and tell.
Anyone can do that.
This story helps answer the question, “Where does God want me?” The answer is, he wants you right where you are. If he wants you somewhere else, he can move you at any time. What if you are the only Christian in the shop, the office, the factory, the store, the club, the classroom, or in your family or your neighborhood? All the better. No cause for despair. God has put you there as a missionary. The people all around you are your mission field. The challenge is the same for you as it was for the man in our story. “Go and tell others what Christ has done for you.” The best missionary work always begins at home. Everyone is either a missionary or a mission field. Which are you?
Go back to your classroom.
Go back to your factory.
Go back to your office.
Go back to your shop.
Go back to your company.
Go back to your classmates.
Go back to your family.
Go back to your neighborhood.
Go back and tell them what the Lord has done for you.
Tell them, and then tell them again.
Lord God, may I never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and may I never forget what Jesus has done for me. Amen.
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