“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” Luke 8:38-39 (ESV)
If I gave you these ingredients: A Naked Dude, Demons, 2000 Pigs, and Jesus -
Would you ever be able to come up with the end result that this was the perfect recipe for The Making of a Missionary?
I would think more along the lines of a crazy movie starring Gerard Butler with 3 sets of six-packs glaring at us while he runs around striking people down. However – in this particular fantastic story, we read about this awesome miracle Jesus does in the life of one single man that society had given up hope on in every way. This guy was literally insane, living in tombs, and super-strengthened (he broke off shackles) by demons.
So Jesus takes this detour across the lake just to meet this man He created that was almost non-human now – and fully redeem him! In an instant, Jesus set him free – fully healed, completely saved, in his right mind, and at peace. When Jesus got in the boat to go back, this guy begged Jesus to let him come. He wanted to be with the One who set him free.
But Jesus – in His infinite wisdom – tells the guy he can’t come because there is a better plan: Being Commissioned As A Missionary to this broken place where the man lives. Jesus just tells him to go back and tell everyone who he was, who he now is, and what Jesus did for him.
Go and Tell. Go to the others and Tell them all that your Redeemer has done for you.
This is the same thing for all of us who follow Jesus – we are, by virtue of being redeemed, commissioned to Go and Tell. Jesus performed a miracle in my life – in your life (if you’ve said yes to life in Him) – so we need to be telling others about the mercy and grace given to us.
Are you “declaring how much God has done for you”? If not, you need to start.
Jesus, thank You for coming for me, for changing me, for loving me with such an unconditional love, and for inviting me into new life with You. Help me to live with a renewed desire to declare what You’ve done for me – In Your name, Amen.