Today’s Journey Through Scripture Reading
Numbers 9-11; Mark 5:1-20
18 While he was climbing into the boat, the one who had been demon-possessed pleaded with Jesus to let him come along as one of his disciples. 19 But Jesus wouldn’t allow it. “Go home to your own people,” Jesus said, “and tell them what the Lord has done for you and how he has shown you mercy.” 20 The man went away and began to proclaim in the Ten Cities all that Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed (Mark 5:18-20, Common English Bible).
Martin Luther was one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. Earlier, before leading the Reformation, Luther was a college student, following his father’s wishes to become a lawyer.
Luther was traveling by horseback, back to school from his family home. During the journey, Luther encountered a fierce storm. It was a storm so fierce, it scared Luther to his core. He was so frightened he made the kind of promise to God many make under similar circumstances. Luther prayed to God, “If you get me out of this storm alive, I will become a priest.” When Luther did indeed survive, he took it as a sign that God wanted him to become a priest. Much to his father’s dismay, Luther dropped out of law school to enter seminary. The rest, as they say is history.
In today’s lesson, Jesus has evicted a bunch of evil spirits from a “possessed” man and sends them to the pigs and they run off a cliff. When the man, now freed of the evil spirits that controlled his life (some argue the spirits in the man was actually a form of mental illness.
The man is so relieved, when Jesus leaves the crowds and get into a boat, the man wants to become one of his disciples (who can blame him for wanting the ongoing contact with Jesus?. Jesus then says no. The man would have to serve in another way.
It could make us wonder why Jesus would say no to this man. I think it wasn’t so much that Jesus didn’t want the man to be a disciple, he didn’t want the man to be one of the twelve. Jesus needed him to be a disciple where he was. Think about it. Everyone knew what this man was like. Now Jesus healed him and that changed everything. Jesus needed this man to stay and share how Jesus changed his life with as many people as possible.
This man had a very real story to tell and its greatest impact wouldn’t come from this guy traveling around as one of the twelve. People needed to hear his story and how it pointed back to Jesus.
I feel certain the man was disappointed. I am sure he thought Jesus was making a mistake. I don’t think it would be very long before this man realized what Jesus did and its impact on his hometown.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved