18 As Jesus was getting back into the boat, the man who was freed from the demons begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus would not let him. He said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man left and began to tell the people in the Ten Towns about what Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed. ~ Mark 5:18-20
We return, today, to Mark 5, to the story of the man who was demon possessed with up to 6000 demons. Miraculously, after the townsfolk had tried for years to control this erratic man, the Lord Jesus delivered him from the control of the dark side which had tormented him incessantly.
In v.18 of today's passage we read, "As Jesus was getting back into the boat, the man who was freed from the demons begged to go with him."
Once this man had been delivered by the Lord Jesus, he did not want to live another day without having Him in his life. This is the way it works, once we have truly come into a personal relationship with the Lord, we want to hang out with Him all of the time. The once demon shackled man "begged" the Lord to allow him to go with Him.
That word "begged" is a common word in Mark's gospel. The demons who were once in this man from the Gadarenes "begged" the Lord Jesus to let them go into the pigs. And, now the previously demon-possessed man "begged" Him to let him go with Him. This is what a tormented soul who has been made alive to God desires. For the first time in his life, he desired to be with the One who is wholly.
In v.19 of today's passage we read, "But Jesus would not let him. He said, 'Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.'"
The Lord Jesus sent this guy to share his story with his people, but he had no witnessing training. If we have a story with the Lord, we need no other training. This man, by the way, is the first preacher the Lord Jesus ever sent out. He had not yet sent the apostles out to preach the gospel. This is the first person the Lord Jesus ever sent out to preach His name, and he is a Gentile who had a really messed up past. And when the Lord gave him a testimony, it was a heck of a story. And, it was powerful because he had been demon possessed for so long. And, the people knew his story. From the moment we were born again, we were given the desire to tell others the great things the Lord has done for us. This is one of the greatest signs that we have entered into a personal relationship with the Lord.
In v.20 of today's passage we read, "So the man left and began to tell the people in the Ten Towns about what Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed."
The name of the region where this man lived was Decapolis which was a region of ten cities east of the Jordan River. This delivered man worked his way through those ten cities telling the people about his miraculous encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Mark 7:31-32 we read, "31 Then Jesus left the area around Tyre and went through Sidon to Lake Galilee, to the area of the Ten Towns. 32 While he was there, some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could not talk plainly. The people begged Jesus to put his hand on the man to heal him."
The once demon-possessed man had been sharing his story about how the Lord Jesus had delivered him from demon possession for months before the Lord Jesus returned to that area. As, a result, when the people learned that the Lord Jesus had returned to the area, they responded differently than they had before. They brought this deaf man to Him for healing. The once demon-possessed man was given a story by the Lord Jesus that enabled him to tell the whole region who the Lord Jesus was; and when He came back, the crowds were prepared to receive Him and His message.
"Everyone was amazed." There were amazed by the story of the once demon-possessed man. The Greek word used in Mark 5:20 translated "amazed" means "to admire with wonder." This was the first missionary the Lord Jesus ever sent out. And, his story with the Lord Jesus was a story about God's grace.
"Lifestyle evangelism" is an evangelism strategy that focuses on our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus lived in the presence of those who have yet to enter into a personal relationship with Him. This is done with the goal of attracting them to the message and to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to Acts 5:13, Christians of the early church were known for their good works, being "highly regarded by the people." The combination of a vibrant personal relationship with the Lord and a vibrant sharing of that faith with those who know not the Lord around us is the most effective way to being a witness for the Lord Jesus. The key in all of this is that we have a daily and vibrant walk with the Lord Jesus. So, look to Him daily for the stories that He will give you so that you can be like the once demon-possessed man, telling others about what the Lord Jesus has done in your life.