18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 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.” 20 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.
In this episode from Jesus’ ministry, Jesus healed a man whose name had been Legion, for all the evil spirits that invaded him. Now, restored and in his right mind, Legion asked to go with Jesus on his way. Jesus gave him different marching orders, so to speak – telling him to go back home and tell others what the Lord in his mercy has done. He did, and people were amazed.
It would have been easy to follow Jesus, to be an “after” example of one transformed by Jesus’ healing power. See what Jesus has done, and he can do the same thing for you. But that would invalidate this man’s own ministry, and shift the focus solely to Jesus the healer. Jesus knew this man was capable of more, so Jesus sent him home to do greater things as an ambassador of Christ.
Those who knew Legion before could hardly imagine how he had changed. Certainly it was an amazing story, to think that Jesus drove the evil spirits into a herd of pigs, who rushed down a hillside into a lake and drowned. It is amazing to think that God’s power can effect such dramatic change in a person. Legion knew he was a new man.
Maybe our transformation is not so dramatic as Legion’s. Yet we too have a mission – to tell others how Jesus has changed our lives. What has Jesus done for you? If you know it, share it. If you don’t know it, ask him. Live among neighbors and friends the changed person you are, by the mercies and grace of God.
Let me not take you for granted, Lord. Let me be amazed at the changes you invite in me, and be willing to pass along the joy of being claimed by you. Let me live this day for you, in your mercy and grace, through Christ my savior. Amen.