Stay and Tell

Mark 5:18-20

18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

In Mark 5, Jesus did something utterly stunning. Jesus drove a legion of demons out of a possessed man. Jesus, solely by his might, the might of Almighty God, overpowered demonic forces, made them tremble, and sent them away. Jesus, in glorious kindness, healed a man many thought unreachable.

After this was all over, the man was grateful. That is understandable. And the man asked Jesus to allow him to travel with him and his disciples.

In the Savior’s response to the man, we can learn something for ourselves. Jesus told the man not to come with him on his travels. Instead, the Savior called on the man to go back home, live a normal life, and tell people about how much the Lord had done for him. And this is what the man did. People were amazed, people praised God, because of the man’s account of what the Savior had done.

Here we stand looking back on this event over nearly two millennia of history. There is something for us to see. A man had his entire life and world changed by Jesus. He wanted, originally, to leave his home and go follow Jesus to other lands. The Savior said that what this man should do is take the truth of Jesus back into his own hometown.

What about you? Has Jesus done a miracle for you? Are you saved? If you are saved, then Jesus has given you life and forgiveness in God. Jesus has changed you. You have a story to tell. It is the story of one who was dead and whom God made alive. Tell it. Do not think you have to go on a mission trip to another country to tell it. Tell it at home. Tell it where you work. Tell it where you shop. Tell it to your friends. Tell it to your family. Just tell people what the Lord has done for you and ask them if they want to know him too.

Of course it is glorious when we get to go on missions to other cities and even other countries. But Jesus shows us right here that it is also wonderful when people whose lives have been changed tell their neighbors. You do not need seminary training to tell somebody that you have hope and joy in life because of Jesus, that you have forgiveness of sin because of Jesus, that you have been changed by Jesus. It does not take a missionary calling to say to someone that, if they would like to know about the Jesus you love, you would be happy to read through a book of the Bible with them or bring them with you to church so they can hear about him too. It is not a scholarly endeavor to tell people that God is holy, we are rebels, Jesus died as the only way we can be made right with God, and we gain new life by God’s grace when we repent and believe in the living Jesus. Dear friends, may we tell the story of what Jesus has done for us. It is great to go and tell. It is also great to stay and tell.