“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.'” Mark 5:18-19 NIV
When Jesus casts demons out of a man in the Gospel of Mark, it is a breathtaking show of the powerful and world-changing compassion of God.
This was a man who was completely unable to help himself. If anyone went after him, he'd break the chains and go running back to his miserable existence.
No one could subdue him; no chain could hold him.
To his community, his cause was beyond help or hope.
But Jesus sought him out. The possessed man "lived in the tombs", physically residing among the dead, cutting himself day and night with stones. When Christ came to his rescue and exorcised the demons... He literally restored the man to the land of the living.
Today, God still performs miracles. He can open the eyes of the blind, drive out demons, and restore lives. But the story in Mark doesn't end with the possessed man's transformation, even though that's a pretty incredible story all on its own.
After the man is restored and begs Jesus to allow him to abandon everything to follow Him everywhere, Jesus tells him no. The man is instead instructed to "go home to your own people" and testify to the full restorative power of God and His compassion.
It may have been difficult. He might have been embarassed to face the people who had tried to help him in his darkest days... help he'd been unable to receive. He may have not wanted to see people he'd abandoned because of the Enemy's hold on him.
But because one man was redeemed from spiritual captivity, more could come to believe. Empowered by the testimony of what the Lord had done for him, he was a man with a new mission.
When we are redeemed from our own sins and shortcomings by the blood of the Lamb, we can be empowered by that redemption and Christ living in us to win our communities to Him and His cause.
Please join Care Net this week as we pray:
- For the shackles of sin to be broken completely, in our own lives and in the lives of those in our communities, so we may find the abundant life that comes from living in the redemption of Jesus Christ and demonstrate it to the world.
- That our eyes would be opened to the strongholds in our lives and in our own thinking, so that Christ can break them and rule in our lives with power, freedom, and authority.
- For Christ to make manifest in us His tireless and relentless love and mercy that searches out and ministers to the lost, the spiritually dead, and those who need Him most.