This past Sunday we had a special speaker at our church, Lin Dawson, come and deliver The Word because our Beloved Pastor was out of town teaching at a marriage conference with his wife in Maryland. The Scripture Lin drew from was Mark 5:1-20. It is the healing of the demon-possessed man. The following is my take on this encounter and my takeaway from what Lin had to say.
My takeaway from Sunday's message was if you or somebody you know has gone through a rough time in life, BUT had an encounter with Jesus that provided the answer - be encouraged and/or encourage that person to first - "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." (v.19) The healed man of this encounter desired to travel and follow Jesus after his deliverance. After being harassed and tortured and captive like he was for so long I would want to follow my Deliverer also! However, Jesus said to "go home". Lin encouraged us to have our lives in order as much as possible here first before launching out on mission trips. I would go one step further and say, when appropriate, use your family, friends, co-workers and strangers in this local area as the sharpening of your witnessing ability before going on a major mission trip.
My observation of this Scripture has to do with the Immediate Compassion Jesus had for this individual. Consider this part of the passage (verses 6-8) -
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
So, the true order of this event is - When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. [Then Jesus said, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"] Then the rest - He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!"
Stepping out of the boat and immediately identifying the situation running up to Him, Jesus spoke Immediate Compassion and Relief into that man's life. Even though it was a commanding evil spirit that ran this man up to Jesus and used this man as a puppet, speaking through the man - Jesus spoke directly to the evil spirit and addressed the situation. Although there had to be a discussion of sorts first between Legion and Jesus, the initial command was going to be followed!
If you or someone you know is in a difficult life circumstance right now and they are running up to Jesus, on their own or are being driven, Believe and Thank Christ for His Immediate audience to hear your plight and the the provision that is coming your way and their way. That provision might not manifest itself immediately for whatever reason. Be encouraged, with this man the conversation was short and the execution of the command was swift. And with one command, Jesus told 2,000 to 6,000 demons controlled by an evil spirit where they could go - out of the man and into 2,000 pigs. With Jesus handling this many demons like this and having Immediate Compassion on this man the way He did - makes my problems look puny but definitely answerable and certainly yours too, Hallelujah! Run to Him!
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30