And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit…. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”  For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 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.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
(Mark 5:2, 7-13, 18-20 ESV)
Over and over again, Jesus commanded those who saw his great works to “tell no one”. He told them to keep quiet about everything he was doing. Yet in this instance–at this moment–He commands a man to go tell everyone in his city.
To share of His mercy.
To proclaim that He is Lord.
So why at this moment? Why this man and not the leper or the deaf man or the mother whose daughter was raised to life?
Because this man and his city were Gentile. You see, at the time, the Jewish people were actively seeking a political Messiah. They had interpreted the prophecies of old to mean that their Savior would come and rescue them from the throes of Rome, and Jesus knew that the better timing would be after His death and resurrection.
The Gentiles were not tied to this philosophy. They were without any kind of Messiah in their hearts and minds.
So He pursued them.
Because He is a pursuer of the world. He is a pursuer of all people from all tribes, nations, and tongues.
He pursued you and me in our lowliest of states. He pursued us before we were born by pursuing someone who would then tell us. His plan goes all the way back to a little graveyard and a man who no one thought could be saved from his demons.
When I think about myself and my story, it’s easy to make my salvation out as if it isn’t that big of a deal. I mean, I was born in a Christian home, in a “Christian” nation, so I always knew about Jesus.
Then I think about how someone who comes from the other side of the world might even know about a Middle Eastern man who was crucified at Calvary. I think about how I am deep into the line of “the nations”. It is an absolute miracle that I know of Him or believe in Him, and it is because He told some obedient people to go and proclaim that He is Lord to a bunch of people without any kind of Messiah.
So if that’s the case, if it is a miracle that I or someone who is like me might even know this Gospel story, if His plan for my salvation has been working itself out since the moment he pointed His finger and said, “go”, who am I to sit?
Who am I to keep this to myself? To consider all the things that had to fall into place for me to hear this good news and then pretend that it never impacted me.
I would have to be wildly disobedient to the Scriptures. Wildly disobedient to His call to go.
So during this Advent season, let us not neglect to go. Let us be so thankful that we know this Gospel truth at all that we can’t keep it quiet. Let us stop thanking “our nation” for the gift of salvation and start thanking our King who would allow this message to go out to all nations–even those who subdue it.
The church is exploding around the world. People who have never heard are hearing, and here I am sitting comfortably on my couch and allowing myself to miss out on it. Let us go into our streets, into our communities, our schools, our clubs, our offices. Let us open the door to our homes to people we don’t know and make His name known no matter the cost. Because someone else didn’t consider the cost. Someone else was obedient.
Can we do the same?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Thank you, friends, for continuing to come back day after day for this Advent series! We have had a blast digging into the Scriptures, making videos, and writing about what God has done for us. If you are just now joining, be sure to check out the rest of this series. As always, be sure to comment and let us know how God is working in you this Christmas season.
Chat with you tomorrow!