“And when He [Jesus] was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Him that he might be with Him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” Mark 5:18-20
Jesus changes lives! For years, Legion had been dwelling within the Gadarene man, causing the poor afflicted guy to live in the mountains and caves outside of the city, harming himself by cutting, and screaming all day and all night. No chains would contain him, and there was no way to stop him from harming himself. The demons were clearly in control. But, when presented with the Presence of God Himself, in the likeness of the Man Christ Jesus, the demons were rendered powerless to continue to torture him. He ran to Jesus and worshipped Him, for the demons knew the Creator God among them. And as he worshipped, the demons addressed our One True God before them and begged Him to leave them alone, but Jesus said they had to go. And so, Legion departs into the swine and the swine, being already an unclean animal, readily fall prey to the murderous desires of the demons and are drowned in the sea.
Those who owned the swine and those in the city were fearful when they came to see for themselves the man dressed and in his right mind because they knew that they would be changed, too, if they allowed Jesus to remain among them. So, they asked Him to leave, and so He did. Jesus wouldn’t stay where He was not welcome. He came, but when asked, He left them. But, the man who was changed, who now knew God among us, wanted to go with Him. Jesus said no. He told him to go and tell others about Him and all that was done in love. So, he did, and many were awed at all that they heard.
Our testimonies are the same. We may not have been possessed of devils, or even one devil, but we were tethered to something of the world. Addictions to drugs, sex, alcohol, money, prestige, pride, power, and any other thing we could imagine held onto us. No rules or regulations placed upon us would prevent us from doing what we desired or from attaining those things we wanted for ourselves. If need be, we would go out of our way, even to the detriment of other areas of our own lives. The cycle of self destruction would eventually bring us to a wilderness in our own lives, where we felt alone, unwanted, isolated in a cave, as though no one understood what we were going through, and nothing we might try to do about it would change. We would get better for a little while, but then the cycle would resurface and we’d end up lower than before. Then we, too, met God among us in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter Who worked through a brother or sister to witness to us with the power of God. Like the Gadarene demoniac, we no longer wanted to remain behind to deal with those who came against us when we proclaimed the Lord in our lives and the changes He wrought within us. We desired to go with Him and be with our Jesus.
But, Jesus asks us to, no longer of the world, but within the world, be the salt and the light that others, like us, could know Him and be saved. He asks us to go out and make disciples of all nations, teaching and preaching the Word. And so, like the demoniac turned preacher, we go and we talk. We tell our testimonies to any who will listen, and every time we do, we are blessed anew as the power of God flows through us. By the Word of the Lord and our testimonies, others are brought closer to salvation. We plant a seed, and an Apollos waters it, and though we may never see them come to their own salvation, we trust that one day God will give the increase and they will be saved. This is how we fulfill that Great Commission.