Mark 5 gives us a different look at a couple of stories of Jesus touch on people we read from other gospel writers. The first involved the man who was filled with the demon “Legion” who was so out of control that nothing or no one could control him. He wandered around breaking stuff. The thing that happens when Jesus comes into his life is pretty amazing. “When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him”. This guy was out of control yet when he came into the presence of the Lord, he was tamed. Jesus can do that in our lives too. Things we struggle to keep under control – bad habits, addictions, attitudes or actions can be worked on by the Master if we allow Him to take control. He is in the business of making us new creatures. He wants to change us to become like Himself – holy and godly and righteous in God’s eyes. We just need to be willing to come to Him with our problems and struggles. Rather than running away and hiding in shame – we need to run to Him as this guy did and put our struggles at His feet. Mark tells us a bit more detail on the pig herd that was there – he calls it a “great herd….numbering about two thousand”. That really is a lot of pigs to run into the sea and drown. You’ll recall that the locals came and asked Jesus to leave after that. No real consideration to the miracle He had just done of healing the man whom they all feared and was now sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus. They were worried because of the unexplained change and the loss of property. Jesus does change things in our lives. When He comes in and is given the reins – we should not remain the same. That is part of our issue here in America about being a Christ Follower. We settle into a comfortable spot and don’t want anything to rock the boat. We aren’t looking for miracles and life change – we just want comfort and peace. That is not the way Jesus does things folks. He came to make a change that never ends because we are never done becoming what God wants us to become.
The big lesson God showed me today is the instruction that Jesus gives this guy after his world is turned right side up. “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you”. He didn’t tell him to go write a book, do an interview with the local media of the day – just go tell your story. That is exactly what God desires us to do as well. He doesn’t expect us to be biblical scholars that can argue all the scripture passages as a trained student. He does want us to know it and treasure it in our heart – but we don’t have to go to seminary so we can talk about His Word. Our most effective tool as a Christ Follower sharing with others is our personal story – our testimony of God’s faithfulness in our life – as that shows what God had done in us. No one is more of an expert on that topic than we are. No one can dispute the power of a changed life. There is no more important thing to be able to share than what God has done in us and through us. Have you ever written your testimony out on paper? It is a powerful experience just for yourself, but once you do it you have a ready story to tell. That is the one thing Jesus asks this guy to do. Nothing about going to church or to the religious leaders or anywhere else. He asks him to go home – and that is where we first need to tell our story – particularly to our kids so they know how God has been at work in our life – but then to our friends. I find so many never talk about their personal walk with Jesus to their family or friends. They maybe will say something to a total stranger but many don’t want to admit it at home or with friends. That is the absolute wrong approach. Jesus is at work in us to impact those in our patch first – those who should see a difference in our life because of His handprints – and are wondering what is up. That is the power of our story – it explains how we life and have been changed. Don’t miss that impact. Go home to your friends and tell your story – what the Lord has done for you!