To Follow or to Stay?

  S (Scripture): Mark 5:14 Now the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind – the one who had the “Legion” – and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. 17 Then they asked Jesus to leave their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon-possessed asked if he could go with him. 19 But Jesus did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” 20 So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and all were amazed.

O (Observation): Jesus exercised the demons that possessed a man whom we only know as “Legion,” because he was possessed by many demons all at once.  As soon as Jesus entered the presence of Legion, the demons recognized Jesus’ power and authority, and submitted to Jesus. 

The man who was healed then wanted to journey with Jesus.  In this case, however, Jesus wanted him to stay and testify to his neighbors what had happened.  

The people of that town had asked Jesus to leave.  They were uncertain of Jesus and his purpose.  Perhaps they needed to hear the story again…so that they might believe. 

A (Application):  Sometimes we are called to be on the move, and sometimes we are called to stay put.  This man who was healed clearly wanted to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, which is most enticing.  And yet, his call is to stay and tell the story.   

An example of someone I know who is “going,” is a young adult by the name of Justin.  He is going to be serving for one year in Mexico as part of the ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission program.  

For the most part, many of you are called to stay where you are and share the story of Jesus and his love in your very town.  I hope you find that calling fruitful. 

Shoul I stay or should I go?  This is a question everyone struggles with.   That takes time and discernment.   What is your call?  

P (Prayer): Lord, you guide us and give us grace where needed.  Your wisdom is beyond our own.  Help us to follow you, either on the move, or while we stay put.  Amen. 

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