Mark 5:20 “And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”
I have had the pleasure to walk the streets of Gadara and the thrill to view the Sea of Galilee with this city to my back. There in a cave I could easily envision the conversion of the maniac. Here are a few reminders for us as missionaries.
Delivered by the Power of Christ
People are delivered by the power of Christ. Mark 5:6 says, “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him.” This man was under the power of at least 3,000 demons. It could have been as many as 6,000. Yet, at the very presence of Christ they were brought to His feet! Jesus sent us to minister under this same authoritative power (Matthew 28:18-20). You and I cannot change lives. Only Christ can, and He always does it His way!
Spiritual victory will never gain popularity. You would think that the Gadarenes would have been happy for this once crazed man and thus welcome Jesus into their city. They were not pleased and did not want Him anywhere near Gadara. They implored Him to leave. When believers are filled with the power of Christ they will NOT be popular. Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” The presence of Christ brings conviction of sin. And, there can be no salvation without conviction of sin!
Declared by the Power of Testimony
Never underestimate the power of a testimony. Mark 5:15 says, “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.” This man’s testimony was so powerful that Jesus sent him out throughout Decapolis immediately. This man had no discipleship (even though he wanted it – Mark 5:18). He had no Bible school training. He had not even attended Sunday School one time! I do not mean to minimize the importance of any of these things. My point is this: often a testimony is the most effective in influencing people for Christ. This man was used of Christ to lay the ground work for the planting of local churches in Damascus and throughout Decapolis. Ananias, a disciple of Damascus, prayed over and baptized Paul. Could he as well as the other disciples in Damascus (Acts 9:10) have been influenced by the testimony of this previously deranged disciple of Christ?
I, like you, long to see many more maniacs become missionaries. Let us minister in the power of Christ. Let us not worry about popularity or influence, but rather on being true to the message of God. Let us allow God to lead and direct in the lives of those to whom He has called us to minister. And, let us watch God do His work through us …in spite of us.