“And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’ ” Mark 5:18-19
He’s your new best friend and he’s leaving. You were tormented beyond the capacity for anyone to help you, held captive and no one could set you free, and he rescued you. And now he’s going away.
You know he’s a teacher and he has students that follow him. They sit at his feet and learn from him and you want to be one of them.
Perhaps you’re afraid. Those demons that had held you in misery for so long, they might come back. If Jesus were there you know you’d be safe. You don’t want him to leave but if he has to you’re going with him.
But Jesus says, “No.” Jesus tells you that he has something more important for you to do. He tells you to go home to your friends and tell them “what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he has had compassion on you.”
Oh how we want to stay in that place of blessing. If we could we’d choose for those times of spiritual retreat, the blessedness of the house of worship, the joy of the companionship of others focused on drawing close to God and we’d never leave them and we’d never let anything else in.
But Jesus says, “No.” And then he points to our friends and he tells us that they need to hear about what we’ve received from the hand of God. Perhaps they too need to be set free from their own place of torment and seeing you will give them the hope and direction they need to find their release. Perhaps they’re just far away from God and they need your witness to assure them that a relationship with God is worth pursuing, that Jesus really does have the ability to make a difference in their lives if they’ll give him the chance.
I know, we’d all like nothing more than for Jesus to come and take us home to be with him but right now he’s pointing to our friends and he’s shaking his head and he’s saying, “Let’s not leave them behind. Go tell them what great things God has done for you.”