Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Have you started to Proclaim What Jesus has Done for You?

Mark 5:1-20 NLT  
  1 So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him. 3 This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4 Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. 
  6  When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. 7 With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!”  8 For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”
   ( 9 Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” . . .10. . .11. . .12. . 13). . . The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
(14. . .15). . .16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone. 
  18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

There are so many elements of this story that we could focus upon: the demon-possessed man, the demons, the pigs, the herdsmen and towns people, Jesus' intended message etc. Looking at this man is both a sad and a joyous experience. Can we imagine the torment he had been enduring. The test says that he could not be bound by chains, so they must have tried to do so many times! It says he was constantly shrieking and hollering-- so much pain and agony was he experiencing. It says he continuously cut himself with rocks-- possibly trying to end his agony once and for all.

The text says that he came to greet Jesus. The man must have wanted to seek healing and help. It was the demons who threw him to the ground and shrieked out a warning for Jesus to not heal, but too late, Jesus, upon seeing the man, had immediately commanded their exit. The only question was where. Once that was settled they departed and this left just the man sitting at the feet of Jesus. Probably,  Jesus was teaching, encouraging, and soothing this troubled man now made whole, when the people of the village came up to him. Can you believe it? For the preserving of this one human life and cleansing him, but at the expense of their pigs, they asked the King of the Universe to leave them. How much do people value a life made whole? What if it should cost us some of our livestock? How much do people value interacting with the King of the Universe and of all of Time? What if it should cost them some of their personal preferences?

They asked him to leave. Sometimes some of us might ask HIM to leave as well. Whenever we deny His priorities and embrace our own instead, we may come close to being just like these townspeople. But there was the healed man too. His choice was to go with Jesus, wherever, for however much time it would take, to do whatever Jesus wanted to do. And when Jesus gave him the mission of going home to teach his family the truth, the man embraced Gods call upon his life. Not stopping with his family, the Text tells us that this formerly wretched tortured man--now made whole-- evangelized the all throughout the region known as the Decapolis (The Ten Towns). It says he Started off. . ."to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. . . " Have you started off to proclaim what Jesus has done for you yet?
Your servant in Christ's Love

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