But He would not let him; instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed, Mark 5:19-20, HCSB.
Goals, objectives, resolutions—different names for the hopes and plans we have. Steps we plan to take to finish a project or complete a task and these steps require determination.
The man in our story started out with some strange goals—being demon-possessed, he scared everyone away by breaking chains and howling among the tombs (v. 2-5). He comes to Jesus and the demons beg Jesus not to torment them. They ask for permission to enter a herd of pigs (v. 7, 11). When granted, they drive the pigs down a cliff and into the sea (v. 11-13). The man is restored to his right mind, and everything changes. The people from his city come out to find him dressed and sitting in his right mind and they are afraid (v. 15). They were used to the man who howled among the tombs and cut himself with stones, but they were afraid of the man healed by Jesus’ words. The townspeople were so afraid, they asked Jesus to leave. The healed man begs to go with Him, but Jesus gives him a new resolution: “Go back home to your own people….” Jesus wants him to go back and show people how different his life is now that Jesus had healed him. Jesus wanted him to tell those who knew him best “…how He has had mercy on you.”
Why? Why not allow the healed man to journey with Jesus? What would one more disciple matter in His entourage? Because God had a goal for him—to reach those who were afraid. Those people who were afraid of Jesus because of the miracle—this man could reach them. Jesus wanted him to go home and be a witness of the radical change God’s love makes in the lives of those who are touched by His amazing grace. What happened next? The man accepted the resolution from Jesus and he proclaimed “how much Jesus had done for him” in such a way that the people, who had been afraid, became people who were amazed. The man determined to fulfill the purpose Jesus had given him, even in his own hometown. What about you?
Thought-provoker: When deciding on your resolutions this year, why not take some time and find out what goals and objectives Jesus has for you, in your hometown. Reach the ones who reject Him because He does the unusual, those who fear what their lives would be like if they let Him in. Let them be amazed by the mercy and grace of God through you.
Lord, thank You for the plans You have for us. Help each one of us to fulfill his/her purpose in reaching those who are around us with Your grace and mercy. Help us to show others just how amazing You are! Amen.