The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him. – Luke 7:38-39
Jesus and the apostles crossed the Sea of Galilee to the area known as the Decapolis. When they reached the opposite shore, a man possessed of demons approached Jesus, whom Jesus cast out the demons and restored the man to his sanity. When Jesus was about to cross back over the lake to Israel, the freed man tried to beg Jesus to let him follow him. Jesus refused the man and told him to return to his family and friends and share with them the good things God had done for him. The man did return and did just as Jesus told, proclaiming the good things Jesus did for him.
Later in chapter nine (9) of this same book we read where a man wants to follow Jesus, but he asks Jesus to let him go home and bury his father. Jesus responds with the statement, Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead!Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God. In the passage from chapter seven (7) Jesus told the freed man to go and proclaim (preach) the good thins Jesus had done for him while here in this 9th chapter he tells the would-be follower it’s his duty to do so. One man gladly goes and preaches the Good News of Jesus while another is reluctant. One can’t wait to serve Jesus while another hesitates. One wants to follow and is refused while another wants to follow but makes an excuse as to why he can’t immediately follow.
Which person are you? Am I? It is our duty to preach the gospel (good news) of Jesus to every person, to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and to teach them all Jesus commanded. However, should we not do so with the zeal, passion, and determination of the man freed of demons? Of course! We should not look for an excuse as to why we cannot immediately do what Jesus commands of us. Do we really love our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength IF we don’t love our neighbors enough to tell them of Jesus’ Good News and how it changed us? A man once possessed by demons and set free by Jesus crisscrossed and entire city proclaiming (preaching) the good news (Gospel) of what Jesus did! When was the last time you or I did that? To an entire town? Or even an individual?
Yes, it’s our duty to serve God, but should it not also be a labor of love? Let’s get out there and do what we call the Great Commission. Someone’s eternity depends upon you and me doing our duty, out of love. For without love it’s all moot.
Father, what an exciting time it is to be alive. You have shared your kingdom with humanity. You are worthy to be praised, honored, glorified, and exalted. You alone are worthy! Blessed is your name above all others! Thank you for allowing me to spend time with you this day. For your Word is my bread not just the grain that grows in the fields. You’ve forgiven me as I’ve forgiven those who’ve wronged me. You’ve kept me from the evil one and set my feet on the rock to stay. Forever I am engraved on your palm. All power is yours forever. Thank you for showing me the truth of what you expect from me in the simple actions of two ordinary men: both who said they wanted to follow you but which you told one to go spread the gospel while the other made excuses. I want to be like the freed man who shared his testimony with others about your goodness and how you change lives. I have no excuse for not sharing your goodness via my testimony with others. Forgive me for slacking recently. May your will be done, not mine. May your kingdom be established here on earth as it is heaven. Lord of the harvest, send out other laborers with me to throw in the sickle and reap a harvest up to that 100 fold. In Jesus’ name, Amen.