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 5:19 NIV)
The man just had a legion of demons cast out of him. Previously he was in chains and could not be kept down. He lived in the tombs. He would cut himself. A Roman legion consists of 5,000 soldiers. The man had 5,000 evil spirits in him. Jesus does an amazing miracle. He casts out all these 5,000 evil spirits from the man and sends them into the 2,000 pigs nearby. These pigs rush into the lake and drown.
Jesus is in the region of the Gerasenes. In other words, he is in non-Jewish country. That is why there are pigs in the fields. The people who live in this region ask Jesus to leave the place. They do not take too kindly to their source of livelihood, the 2,000 pigs, being drowned. Jesus gets into the boat to return to Galilee. The former demoniac asks to go with him. Jesus does not let him. “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.” Jesus tells this former demoniac to share his story with his people. Jesus asks him to testify to them how much the Lord (which is Jesus) has done for him and how much the Lord has had mercy on him. Jesus gets the former demoniac to share his testimony with his people, who do not come from a Jewish background.
I believe the Lord has asked us to do the same. He tells us to share our stories with the people in our lives, whether at home, at work or in our neighbourhoods. I remember about 1 1/2 years ago, I was just about take up this present pastoral position with St. Andrew’s Streetsville. God opened the door for me to share this with our neighbour. I told her that by God’s grace, there was a church in Mississauga who has called me to serve with them. We did not have to move from Mississauga. Luke was just about to enter the nearby local high school. I told our neighbour that I was thankful to God for this new position.
God calls us to share our stories with people in our lives. It can be about a new job position. It can be a healing from an illness. It can be how God helps us through a difficult period. We can also share how God has helped us in a trial so far but there is more to come. In the early part of May at the Sunday morning worship gathering, as part of the sermon, I have asked 2 people from our church family to share their stories with us, Patrick Taylor (May 6) and Nancy Simpson (May 13, Mother’s Day). Please come and hear their stories. Learn how to tell yours.
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 5:20 NIV)