Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you. And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8: 39

 

This was a very unusual situation. The man from the area of the little town of Gadara on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee had been healed from the horrible oppression of demons. He was free, he had his life back, and he had a new purpose for that life. This man wanted to pursue one course, that of following along with Jesus, but Jesus sent him off onto another path. He was sent back to his home, that is to the place where his family and he were resident. This would include his immediate family, his village community, and those who lived in the region around the village. These were people who had expressed great fear and concern over the power of this strange Jewish teacher, Jesus.

 

So, the healed man is sent back to his family, friends, neighbors, and others in their broader sphere of contact. Jesus instructs him to tell these people about the great and wondrous things that God has done for him. He is to tell the story of the miraculous and transformative work that Christ has accomplished in him, and he was to declare to all the salvation from a life of slavery that comes through this same Jesus. This was no easy task in light of the negativity and even hostility that his community and his culture were likely to express toward this message of hope and peace that comes from acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord. Yet, sharing this good news was the man’s new life calling and his commission from God.

 

So, I wonder, how much different is my calling from that of this man? I don’t have the drama that surrounded the expulsion of the demon, but Christ has claimed my life out of sin’s slavery and death. He has given me freedom, peace, and purpose for this life that I have in and through Christ. All of this would seem worthy of much more than just mention in my home, around my neighborhood, and throughout my community. It also seems to me that this message of Christ’s work in me is not limited to a singular time and event. The Lord continues to do His work in and on me, and this ongoing story of transformation and growth is a significant part of the story that I have to tell. So, like that man from Gadara, I too am sent by Christ to declare how much God is doing for me.