Don’t Follow Jesus

Posted: August 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Has Rob lost his faith or his mind?

That’s probably what you are wondering right now, but those of you who know me, know that I am going somewhere with this…as usual.

Last night as I was reading my Bible, I came across a story I have literally read dozens of times over the last 20 years. It’s found in the Book of Mark chapter 5. It’s the story of when Jesus caused a shortage of bacon when he sent 2000 pigs filled with demons over a cliff to drown in the sea.

You can read the whole story after you finish here but I want to focus on a small part of the story that I found particularly interesting. We will pick up at verse 19:

As Jesus was getting in the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but 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.”

Following Jesus would have been a good thing, but Jesus had a better thing for the man to do. His ways are not our ways. Jesus knew that the man would have a greater kingdom impact by staying right where he was because people in the town knew him, at least they knew the old demon-possessed guy. His testimony would have weight behind it. This once uncontrollable demon filled crazy man had an encounter with Jesus and it forever changed his life. There would be no denying it in his hometown.

I am certain you have heard stories of miraculous healings in far away places you cannot pronounce and you doubt them, even in a small way. You tell yourself that these are just clever emotional stories to illicit a monetary response from you. Sure miracles can happen but you’ll believe it when you see it.

But if Joe, your neighbor dying from 4th stage lung cancer is miraculously healed, that’s another story all together. You know Joe. You have prayed for Joe. In fact you had your whole church praying for Joe. You’ve spent countless hours sitting by his bed talking with him. You’ve laughed with him, you’ve cried with him. If he were healed the whole town would know the power of God. People’s faith would grow in leaps and bounds. No one could deny that God had intervened. Joe’s story would change the whole town. Many would give their lives to Jesus.

But what if Joe was healed and no one knew? What if he went to some other state or country and told his story? Many would doubt. There would be skeptics in every audience. No one knows Joe. No one saw how close to death he was. His story just does not pack the punch it would in his own home town.

Let’s see what happened to the demon-possessed man:

Mark 5:20 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.

If God has saved you from a life of sin and made you a new creation in Christ, use it. The people who knew the “old” you will see the “new” you and be amazed. They will have to concede that God has in fact done a mighty thing in your life. Your testimony in your own home town among your friends and family will hold more weight and make a greater impact then if you travelled the world telling strangers what Jesus did for you. Your family and friends are your mission field. All we have to do is live our faith out in front of them.

Jesus told the man to stay home and win souls. That’s great advice today too.

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Comments
  1. dianaflegal says:

    Such a good word Rob. I have been guilty of believing the miracles that have happened to people I do not know. But the ones I do know? That is a totally different story! Hard to argue with what you see and hear with your own eyes and ears.

  2. Mike Ozbolt says:

    Now i see how “Don’t follow Jesus” is an appropriate title coming from a Christian author. Amazing! Ha Ha! Unfortunately, like most people my conversion was gradual and not amazing like this man’s. But could you imagine the amazement of the people who knew him?

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