Lenten Devotional: Sunday, March 24
The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus[a]to leave their neighborhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus[b] refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. Mark 5:14-20
What had happened was that after Jesus had crossed the sea with his fellows and came to the country of the Gerasenes, as he stepped out of the boat, he was accosted by a demoniac being and shouting, :What have you to do with me Jesus, Son of the Most High?’ Jesus ordered the Spirit to come out, asking his name. ‘My name is Legion, for we are many” They begged not to be sent from their country, and were permitted to enter a nearby hear of swine. The terrified pigs hurtled themselves down to the sea and drowned. Jesus was asked to leave.
The former demoniac, now transformed and presentable, understandably wished to go with Jesus and his men. He was told “no” he had a new job ahead of him, to tell his story and spread it further so others could marvel.
It is all so vivid that this last part can easily lose it importance. We know that Jesus had certain powers that went with his mercy, and that spirits could recognize him. There are examples of both of these. That those present wanted him to go away is an example of the ways of many peoples. Finally comes a command. The man who was rescued must go out to rescue others. As he goes off, we can imagine him becoming another good disciple.
Personal Prayer: Dear God. Let me always remember to go out to those who need me.