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 the town how much Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:38-39 NIV)
How will this man fare now that Jesus tells him to return home and tell others how much God has done for him. They are used to him shouting, being undressed and living in the tombs. Now he is a man in his right mind and is sitting next to Jesus. He wants to keep on sitting next to Jesus. However, Jesus has given him a mission, “Go home and tell”.
These words ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ have a personal meaning for me.
I was born in Malaysia and brought up in a Christian family. Both my parents became Christians because of missionaries. However, there was mental illness in the family. My father suffers from a mental illness. My late mother was an adult child of an alcoholic. There was a lot of unhappiness growing up. I asked the question, “How could the God of love allow so much suffering in my life?”
When I was aged 14, I went to a church family camp at a seaside resort. On the first night the speaker challenged people to take Christ seriously. I asked myself these questions, “If there a God? If there is a God, how do I relate to him? Did he really send Jesus to die for my sins?” Suffering is real. However, the question of a saving God is distinct from suffering. I decided that even though my suffering was real, God did really save me through Jesus. I gave my life to Jesus Christ that night.
That night, the speaker also preached on this passage about Jesus saving this wild man from his demons. He also said that it will be a great family camp but when we go home we should remember the words of Jesus. ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ Go home and tell your family and friends how much God has done for you. I remember going home and telling Mum about giving my life to Jesus at the camp. She was overjoyed and gave me 3 big kisses.
According to Mark, the next time Jesus is in the region, he gets to preach to and feed 4,000 people (Mark 8:1-13). How do these 4,000 people know who Jesus is? Why would they want to listen to him? My guess is that this man, who had been saved from his life of pain and misery told his family and friends about Jesus. The nearby town and the surrounding area heard about Jesus.