By Brooke Holt
“Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:35-39)
Throughout my twenty-five-plus years of ministry, I have heard and even spoken many excuses as to why God would not call a person to ministry. I have always said I would be the last person God would choose from my high school group for a call to ministry! My life simply wasn’t the epitome of that faithful person I thought God would want to use.
Sadly, I am not the only one who felt that way. Many lay and ordained people relate stories of their past and present that disqualify them for God’s work. Thankfully, we have these stories in Scripture where God chooses that most unlikely person for ministry. In this story, Jesus commissions a former demoniac. He went from being the crazy man who lived among the tombs, totally naked and raging, to a man sitting in his right mind beaming with joy and gratitude. If once being controlled by a legion of demons didn’t disqualify him, then the fact he was a Gentile living in a Gentile land would have. So, the people would have thought. Jesus had a different plan!
It seems Jesus came to that Gentile area to rescue his child, restore him, and then commission him to proclaim the good news of what Jesus had done for him. And that is just what he did! From raging demoniac to a zealous disciple of Jesus Christ, this transformed man “proclaimed throughout the whole city what Jesus had done for him” (verse 39).
Do you know your story is often the most effective means of drawing people to a relationship with Jesus? Who can deny what Jesus has done in your life? When you speak of the miraculous power demonstrated, the grace you received, the way his love met and transformed you, that is compelling! Not many people are moved and inspired by a perfect life. People are excited to learn that even in the darkest places, Jesus has come to rescue and save his children. He is not afraid of the darkness as the light of Jesus has and will continue to overwhelm the darkness.
What can we learn from this miraculous healing of the demoniac? There is absolutely no one exempt from the call to ministry. This mess of a man became a miracle story. That is certainly my story as well. What about you? Jesus loves to turn messes into miracles and then call those transformed people to tell what he has done for them. That is a commissioning to tell your salvation story so that others may hear and know the hope found in Jesus!
Do you appreciate how important it is to share your testimony, not just of coming to faith but of what Jesus has done in your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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