Just Go Home

The story.

Mark* recounts the story of the man possessed by many demons. Jesus is ministering to those who come to see Him. They cross the sea of Galilee and, when they arrive on shore at Gadarenes, Jesus is met by a man. He’s known in the area and folks are, no doubt, afraid of him. I would be afraid, too. This is the description: he lived among tombs, wore no clothes, was unable to be bound or chained; when bound, he simply tore the chains off his body. This derelict spends his days and nights cutting himself with stones. Later descriptions makes one think he possibly lived nomadic and naked. He has no home. There is no place for him to go when folks tell him, “Go home.”

He meets Jesus as the disciples and Jesus disembark on the shore. “What do I have to do with You, Jesus, son of the Most High? I implore you by God that you do not torment me!” 

Jesus replies, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit! What is your name?”

The spirit replies, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”

The spirits beg not to be sent out of the country.

go  homeThe happening.

Jesus sends the many spirits into a herd of swine nearby. The 2,000 swine run toward the cliff and drown in the water below.

One can imagine the aghast of the folks responsible for the swine.  There go the swine, all 2,000 of them. Down in the depths of the water.  There goes their livelihood. And there goes the once insane man, now free.

It becomes the talk of the town, the city, and the country. Such a thing has never happened before (and never happens again). The folks hear about the man and the swine, and soon everyone is coming to see this Jesus, the man Who did this remarkable feat.

There are no swine, but they find Jesus and the man. Now the man is sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. Those three things tell the folks that something remarkable happened.

Has anyone ever seen this man sitting still, clothed, and in his right mind? Probably now.

The townsfolks beg Jesus to leave. I’m not sure what they are afraid of, but they want this Man out of their region.

Jesus and His disciples oblige. When Jesus is in the boat, the man begs to go with Him. One would think this the perfect opportunity show off His power; this man could tell everyone what Jesus did for him. Instead, Jesus tells him to go home.

go  homeStart at home. Just go home.

He says, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Tell them how He has had compassion on you.”

It makes sense. If you were a part of this fantastic story, wouldn’t you want to continue with this Man who brought salvation to your mind and soul? Would you not want to travel the world with Him and tell others? Jesus knows better. He knows this man needs to begin at home and not get on some unknown band wagon. He knows home, and he knows the folks at home. They also know him – or at least the trouble man he was.

Jesus knows that, when we experience Him, we must first go home and tell our families. Tell those who know us best. Let them see the change. That’s where the proof lies: when others who knew us as we once were see the difference because of Jesus. For those who never knew us before, there is no proof in the change. But for those who know us, this is when the truth becomes vital and real.

This is why we must first go home. Tell the story to the folks at home, first. Make things right with those at home, then travel the world.  Go back and tell everyone what has happened to you. Let them see the change – the folks who know you the most. Remember to always begin at home.

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Photo credits: John Paul Stanley and freebibleimages.org

*Luke 8 also tells the same story. Matthew 8 tells the same story but describes two men. I’m not going to split hairs on the stories because that’s not the point of this blog.

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