Hi everyone. Rob here.
In Mark 5 there’s a remarkable story about a man possessed by an army of demons who go by the name Legion. They have tormented this man causing him to cut himself with stones and giving him unusual, yet meaningless, strength. The fact that Jesus can approach this tortured man, confront this army of demons and with calm authority cast them out into a herd of pigs is remarkable. But, for me, it’s not the most remarkable thing about the story. After all, Jesus is Lord. He has authority over evil and his mission is to rescue humanity from the evil that has consumed us. If he couldn’t drive out the demons, that would be a shock. No, the remarkable thing about the story is what happens to the man afterwards.
After the spirits are driven out people come and find the man “dressed and in his right mind.” They are afraid and want Jesus to leave. The man then begged Jesus to allow him to come with him. Of course! The guy’s gone from constant torture to sanity. Of course he wants to follow the One who rescued him. But Jesus says no. He did not let him. Instead he tells him this:
Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you (Mark 5:19).
Jesus doesn’t run a 10 week course called Discipleship 101. Instead, he gives us a new story to tell. What is the story that Jesus has written for you? I hope you know it because the world needs it. You have a sphere of influence where your story matters and could be just what someone else needs to hear. Too many of us diminish our stories or feel that they’re still unwritten. That simply isn’t true. It’s a tool of the enemy. If he can come against our awareness of the story of how Jesus has shaped our life then he has taken out our main witness to his glory.
Sometimes we think that telling our story doesn’t make any difference, but look at the fruit that comes when this untrained, biblically illiterate man tells the story of Jesus’ rescue:
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognised Jesus. they ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went – into villages, towns or countryside – they placed the sick in the marketplaces. they begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed (Mark 6:53-56).
We all have a story to tell. We all have stories within our story that need telling. Jesus has rescued us time and time again, but have we had eyes to see and ears to hear just what he has done. Get to now the story of your life, your whole life. Get to know the main characters, the movement of your heart and mind through your story, the turning points where the plot contained a twist, the false beliefs you had to let go of and the truth you needed to embrace. Where was love in your life? Where was hope and joy?
For years I thought my story was boring and irrelevant. As Jesus has taken me on a journey of recovering my heart, I have come to know my story, own my story and tell my story. It’s a journey that has seen me come out of hiding and come home to the Father’s embrace, and then, get about the Father’s business. Jesus rescued me and we are now writing a new chapter together. May you know the same joy.
Grace and peace everyone.