Mark 5:16-20 NRSVue
16Those who had seen what had happened to the man possessed by demons and to the swine reported it. 17Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood. 18As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19But Jesus refused and said to him, “Go home to your own people, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and what mercy he has shown you.” 20And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
There is drama in this exorcism. It pits the demon, who torments the possessed man, against the calm power of Jesus. The demon recognises Jesus’ power and authority, and obeys his command to go out of the man.
Lord, when I fear the forces of evil, in others or in myself, I remember that you took on the demons and defeated them. In you I have a Saviour against whom the devil is powerless.
The healed man had asked to go with Jesus but, at Jesus’ request, he stays in his own place to announce the gospel. Our call to work with Jesus and our partnership with him is on Jesus’ initiative. As disciples we wait to be told what to do and where to minister. In prayer we may sense his call to take part with him in his work. The daily call will be to announce in word and in our way of life the gospel of Jesus, in the places and among people who are part of our ordinary life. Our call, like his, is to announce the Lord among our friends and to share with people close to us how the Lord Jesus is at work in our lives.