I am reading through the gospels in the month of February. I made it through the first half of Mark yesterday. I have been asking God to show me things as I read. New things, things I may not have noticed before. I am finding that no matter how many times you can read a bible verse, there is always something new to learn.
In Mark 5 I was reading through the story of the man who was possessed by the group of demons that called themselves “legion”.
The end of the story is what captured my attention.
“Those who had seen it described to the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man, and [told them all] about the pigs.
17 So the people began to beg with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As He was stepping into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was begging with Him [asking] that he might go with Him [as a disciple].
19 Jesus did not let him [come], but [instead] He said to him, “Go home to your family and tell them all the great things that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.”
20 So he [obeyed and] went away and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis all the great things that Jesus had done for him; and all the people were astonished and marveled.
I just picture this man who had been delivered from so much. He had been tormented by these demons for years. YEARS PEOPLE! That is a long time. Can you imagine the state of this man and his family? If you read earlier, you will get a detailed description of this man and his looks at this time. Not a pretty sight. So, my thinking. Here, this man named Jesus (who is God) walks in and saves your life from unbearable torture. I can’t really blame him for wanting to follow and accompany Jesus, can you?
I picture this man’s desperation and longing as he begged Jesus to be allowed to go along with him. And then the defeat and the sadness when Jesus does not allow him to go with them.
Here is what struck me and made my brain go tilt. What appeared to be the best thing and the thing of great worth was for this man to accompany Jesus. THAT would be amazing! But, Jesus says, “No. Go home to your family and tell them all the great things that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” That is kind of the second rate thing to do. But look at what purpose God had for this man!
When he obeyed and went home, telling all of these people and his family about what God had done for him. He PUBLICALLY proclaimed (that is really strong verbiage) the mercy that God had bestowed on him.
Now, here is the amazing part.
“All the people were astonished and marveled.”
Think about that for a second. What had these same people just done before? When Jesus had cast out these demons and they had seen the pigs jump off the cliff, they were freaked out. What Jesus did scared the living daylights out of them. So much so, that they BEGGED him to leave. Like, on their knees with folded hands and fear behind their eyes begging. They wouldn’t listen to Jesus. He scared them. So Jesus sent them the man he had healed. He knew that they would listen to him. He knew that they would listen to the man God had healed. And they did. Not only did they listen, but they marveled. They saw God for what He was from this man’s words. Now, while the bible doesn’t say that they were “saved” so to speak, I have faith that these people came to have Faith in Jesus. And all because this one man didn’t get to go with Jesus and was told to stay home.
Our mission fields can be our homes. We yearn for these big things. These big trips where we are missionary’s to people who are lost. But who are the people who are lost in your own home or family? What if your sibling needs to be encouraged and pointed to Jesus? What if a family member doesn’t believe in God and by your witness and love, you can draw them closer to the Savior?
While listening to a group of teachings, this one sweet woman who has been and done many things and been a missionary in many countries said this. “The place between your own two feet at any given time, that is your mission field.” – Jill Briscoe
I posted about this before in “The Big Things For God” Myth. But I am coming even more increasingly convinced that our mission fields are right here. We need to start small. Start with what is right in front of us. We can’t wait till something “big” comes along, we must work diligently to the Lord with what He has given us at this given time.
So I encourage you, let your heart be content with where you are and ask the Lord how you can encourage the people in your own little home circle and town and how you can draw them closer to the Lord.
What are your thoughts?
By God’s Grace,
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