The demon-possessed man had been breaking chains apart for years. Nothing and no one could hold him back.
He was out of control and about to come face to face with the One who controlled everything.
Jesus got out of the boat and saw him. Their eyes met. The demons wrestled uncomfortably within him as the man named Legion threw himself at the feet of Jesus.
He had tried everything to remove the demons and others had done everything to restrain the crazy man and nothing worked. No strength could restrain him.
No human strength.
No one could set Him free.
But Jesus did.
Jesus released the man from the demonic forces by casting them into a nearby herd of swine which then proceeded to run off the side of the mountain and drown in the sea below. The people watching these events transpire were terribly scared and asked Jesus to leave (they were probably fearful for their own livestock!).
As Jesus got in the boat to leave, the newly rescued man ran to Him begging to come with Him.
This man was pleading to be a disciple; he wanted to be with His Savior.
And Jesus said no.
“And He did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home and to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how He had mercy on you'” (Mark 5:19).
As I read that I (Selfishly) thought of myself. I long to serve the risen Lord overseas with women and girls without much (or any) access to the Bible or sound teaching, but God says no.
For the moment (and maybe forever?), He tells me to go home and proclaim Jesus there.
Oh for grace to joyfully accept “home” and not long for something else.
The man in the story appeared to have accepted his duty. Perhaps he realized in the perfect Providence of God he was more valuable to the Kingdom at home than abroad. His obedience, I’m sure, led to the salvation of some.
“And he went away [from Jesus] and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled” (Mark 5:20).
May the lives we lead, whether home or abroad, lead many people to marvel at the radiant glory, humility and beauty of the One who rescued us from the clutches of sin and death.
He is worthy of all we have to give regardless of our geographical location because wherever that may be, our mission remains the same:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20
“Go therefore” could be more accurately translated “As you are going”. So as we are going (to work, to the grocery, to the mailbox, to the nations, to our neighbor), we better be obeying this most serious command, because wherever God has placed us is—at this moment—the exact place we are most usable for the Kingdom.