The Gospel of Mark | Retelling | Mark 5.18-20 |

by | Dec 12, 2023

”As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.“ Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭18‬-‭20‬

From rags to riches. The demon-possessed man (no name ever given) had made quite a journey. From naked and terrifying the neighbors, to an evangelist for the Lord, this man had seen it all.

And the transformation in this man was undeniable. Before, he was wild, filled with so many demons that he was out of his mind. But once he met Jesus, and Jesus gave him freedom again, the man returned to be a preacher. He was calm, self-controlled, and grateful for another chance on life.

Was there any reason therefore why he wouldn’t want to follow Jesus? Mark tells us that he “begged to go with him.” But Jesus would not let him go saying, “Go home to your people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And so the man did just this — telling everyone in the Decapolis how much “Jesus had done for him.”

Once we encounter Christ, his story is our story. His ways are our ways. We are no longer living for ourselves in sin but are set free to be exactly who Christ has called us to be. Does the devil still tempt? Absolutely. Every day we face difficulty and temptation. But life with Christ is better. The freedom from sin allows to truly live – to love God and to love others.

Although the demon-possessed man was not allowed to attend Jesus on his journey, he had a journey of his own in which his story and testimony amazed “all the people.” And I imagine, many came to faith.

Before, this man was filled with many demons, but now he was filled with much love for Christ leading many to discover freedom in this man Jesus.

“O Lord God, the story is ours for the retelling. Regardless of the situation, regardless of the sin, you have set us free. You deliver us daily. You walk with us in power and fill us with passion. You direct our steps and put us on the right path. When my love fails, your love remains steadfast. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your kindness and mercy. Help me know the truth of your love and the richness of your grace. As we approach Christmas, help me embrace the magnitude of your generous gift of salvation. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen