Written by Jen T.
Luke 8:26-40 records the story of Jesus encountering a man possessed by many devils and living in the tombs. Jesus had compassion on the man and sent the devils out of him into a herd of swine. When the caretakers of the swine saw what had been done, they ran into town and told everyone. When the townspeople came, the man was, “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.” (vs. 35) This made them afraid and they wanted Jesus to leave. So He left in a ship.
What struck me as interesting about this story is what happened next. The man who was healed sought Jesus out and wanted to stay with Him. That seemed like a good request to me. He wanted to follow Jesus and be with Him. But Jesus sent him away. He told him to go and tell what great things God had done to him. So, the man obeyed and went and told the whole city what Jesus had done. Because of his obedience, when Jesus returned, the people (who had wanted him to leave) gladly received Him. They had been waiting on Him to come back.
Sometimes we just want to spend time with Jesus don’t we? Of course! And we should do that. But sometimes, God wants us to go and do something for Him. Sometimes we are a part of His plan to accomplish something good. This man played a vital role in Jesus being welcomed back into the city. If he hadn’t obeyed, the people would still be afraid of Jesus. That is how important it is that we are listening to the voice of God and seeking the things He wants us to do. One thing He wants us all to do is exactly what this man did, tell others about the great things God has done in our lives. Tell our testimony.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus sometimes told people just the opposite. Later in this same chapter, in verse 56, Jesus tells the parents of a girl He had healed to “tell no man what was done.” Jesus was here on earth to teach, not just to perform miracles. He knew that sometimes others finding out about His miracles would hinder His teaching because He would be so overwhelmed by crowds of people wanting to be healed. So, in certain cases He would try to keep His healings quiet.
God always has a purpose. Are you listening for your role in that purpose?