Read Mark 5:18-20
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. (NLT)
Some of us perhaps don’t rejoice as we should at having been found by Jesus because deep down we didn’t realise just how lost we were in the first place. Those who know deeply their need of a Saviour are the ones who are most thankful for being saved.
A bit like the demon-possessed man Jesus encountered. After the demons had left him and infested some ‘innocent bystander’ pigs, the man is so overwhelmingly thankful that he doesn’t want to let go of Jesus. He had been rescued from utter isolation and despair and it is no wonder he is so grateful.
Jesus tells him to go and tell his story to all and sundry. A contrast to Jesus’ usual advice. In Jewish territory he doesn’t want to stir up wrong expectations of his Messiahship and so asks those he helps to be quiet about it. But here in Gentile territory, he has no such wariness and tells the man to bear witness to what has happened to him.
Part of our witness is clearly to the basic truths of our faith, but much of it is to do with what has personally happened to us. This former demoniac might be an extreme example of how lives can be changed. But we each need to have some sort of personal story to tell. It is not enough to bear witness to a doctrine, important though that is.
Perhaps a basic step in our witness is to come to a deeper realisation of just how much we need mercy and just how much of it we have received. Our stories are to be stories of brokenness redeemed by grace.