“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38–39, NIV84)
There aren’t too many instances that someone who was touched by Jesus’ mercy begged to follow Him. In fact, there’s just this one. Most went back to their homes and lived out their lives. This demon-possessed man was so moved by Jesus’ mercy that he wanted to become a disciple and follow Him. Jesus had set him free from the terror he was living in (hell); he couldn’t see any other life than one dedicated to his Savior. Given his desire to spend the rest of his life following Jesus, I am surprised by Jesus’ response. Jesus tells him no. Jesus tells him, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” And that is exactly what the man did. He witnessed to the people of his community about his Lord and Savior who set him free from the bondage of sin and demon possession. We know this, because in the book of Acts, there is already a church in the Decapolis area, which is attributed to the ministry of this former demoniac.
What does this mean to you and me? Well, you might not be a pastor or teacher like I am. But we have the same calling. We all are called to return home and tell what great things God has done for us. Witnessing to Jesus Christ is not difficult. All Jesus expects of us is to share with others what we have heard and experienced from God in our lives. Who has God placed in your life that He desires you to share your story of faith with? I know there is someone. God always places people in the lives of Christians who need to hear of God’s mercy, grace and compassion.
Since God has so graciously redeemed and saved us from our brokenness and bondage, may we dedicate our lives to testify to His awesome works in us. May our motivation be one of gratitude to God for all He has done, and compassion for the world around that needs to know the love of God.