In the eighth chapter of Luke there is a story recorded about a demon-possessed man who Jesus encountered in the country of the Garasenes on the west shore the Sea of Galilee. This man, who lived among the tombs, had not worn any clothes for a long time and was so strong that he could not be restrained even when bound with chains. The Gospel of Mark tells us that day and night he was screaming as he beat and cut himself with stones. When standing toe to toe with Jesus, the demon said that his name was Legion for he was one of many demons that were tormenting this poor man. In a deal with the demons, Jesus drove them out of the man and gave them permission to enter a herd of pigs that where grazing on the hillside. The demon-possessed pigs ran down the hill into the sea and were drowned. We then see the formerly possessed man, fully clothed, in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus, his Deliverer.
When Jesus, along with the disciples, got into their boat to return to the other side of the lake, the man who was delivered from his demons begged Jesus to take him along with them. To which Jesus responded, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy upon you” (Mark 5:19-20).
This passage amazes me. Especially in this day and age of Fundamentals of the Faith courses and New Member’s Classes and 101 different discipleship programs. Now, don’t get me wrong or put words in my mouth that I haven’t said, there is nothing wrong with all of these and I truly believe that every new Christians needs to be discipled in the things of the Lord and His gospel. But here, Jesus simply sends the man back home, to his people, to his community to tell them what God had done for him. Apparently, the difference between what he once was and now was, was testimony enough to convince people that God through Christ had delivered him.
What does this story mean for us? It means that each one of us has a story to tell, a unique testimony of how Christ has touched our lives. Like the blind man whose testimony was simply, “I was blind but now I see” we all have a story of how and where Jesus touched our lives. And it is a story that we can tell immediately upon coming to faith in Christ. Of the newly converted Saul of Tarsus, we read, “…and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus…” (Acts 9:20).
As for the man in our story, here is what we read about him, “So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39).
What about your story? Your story is special! Your story is unique! To whom have you recently told your story? The Psalmist wrote, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:2). Please, don’t keep the story of how Christ has touched your life a secret.