As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the LORD had done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. –Mark 5:18-20
If you want to read a great Bible story, take a moment to ponder Mark 5:1-20. It shows how Jesus and His disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee. They were headed in a Southeasterly direction out of Capernaum. The disciples asked Jesus where they were heading and for what purpose. Jesus answered, “Oh, we’re heading toward the center of the ten Greek cities, the Decapolis.”
The disciples asked, “What for?”
He replied, “We’re going to get the message of the Kingdom out throughout that entire region.”
“My,” Peter said. “That’s quite a task. How many weeks will we be there? I didn’t really come prepared.”
“You don’t understand,” said Jesus. “We’ll just be there a few hours, maybe the better part of the day.”
“Well, frankly, LORD, I’m totally confused. How in the world can we get the message out in such a short time?” asked another.
“Oh, I’ve got it all figured out,” said Jesus. “I’ve got a man picked out over there. We’ll be meeting him a bit after we land. He’s going to spread the word.”
“Well,” said Peter, “now I understand. Is it anyone we know?”
“No, you’ve never met this fellow before.”
“He must be quite a guy if he’s going to take on this territory all by himself. He must have some charisma or training. I’ll bet he’s one of those sharp, well-educated young Pharisees who was converted down at the seminary in Jerusalem during our last visit there! Right?” someone asked.
“No,” Jesus said. “Actually, he hasn’t had any training at all. And frankly, he hasn’t gone to school much either. As a matter of fact, mostly he has just been hanging around the cemetery lately.”
“The cemetery? What is he, a funeral director? Or a gravedigger? What does he do at the cemetery?” a disciple demanded.
“Well, mainly he runs around breaking chains, cutting himself and banging his head on the stone markers. As a matter of fact, right now he’s full of the devil and running around half nuts.”
Do you get the idea? Only God knows the power and potential within each one of us. Isn’t it amazing that He uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish His plans? If God can use a demon-possessed man to spread the word (see Mark 5:20), then He can surely use you as well. What about you? Will you allow yourself to be an ordinary person whom God uses to do extraordinary things?
1. Why do you think Jesus used regular people–or even very needy people, as opposed to the most talented people of His day–to further God’s kingdom?
2. How can this story be meaningful in your life?