What would you do if Jesus saved you but wouldn’t let you travel with him or study at his feet?
Legion’s Encounter with Jesus
A legion was a Roman army unit containing several thousand soldiers. Legion had earn his nickname because he was possessed by so many demons that when Jesus sent them into a herd of pigs, the entire herd (about 2,000 pigs) rushed toward a lake and drowned. (Mark 5:1-20)
When the story of this miracle reached the surrounding area, people went to see for themselves if it was true. When they discovered a perfectly normal Legion sitting and talking with Jesus, “they were afraid” (Mark 5:15) and “began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.” (Mark 5:17) But Legion “begged to go with him.” (Mark 5:18)
As interesting as Legion’s story is, I am intrigued by what Jesus told him to do and how the people reacted when he did as he was told.
Jesus told Legion, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19) After healing Legion—saving him—Jesus instructed him to return to where he lived before demon possession had caused him to live among the tombs AND to tell his family, former friends, and acquaintances—everyone back home—what Jesus had done for him and the mercy shown to him.
Legion didn’t just return home to tell his story, he “began to tell in the Decapolis [the Ten Cities] how much Jesus had done for him.” (Mark 5:20)
Legion didn’t spend all his days studying about Jesus. All he knew was that Jesus had saved him. He didn’t just return home and sit in his living room sharing his story with those who happened to visit or attend Sunday worship services. He traveled the area surrounding his hometown and told whoever would listen what Jesus had done for him and about the saving mercy He had shown.
Jesus did not let Legion travel with Him, but He did give Legion something to do–go home and tell his story. He was to share what God had done. It can be much easier to study God’s Word than it is to share our stories, but telling others what God has done for us will help them see Him.
It can be much easier to study God’s Word than it is to share our stories, but telling others what God has done for us will help them see Him.
Here’s the fascinating part: “And all the people were amazed.” (Mark 5:20) This man’s obedience in going and telling his story caused the people to be amazed. Our obedience to tell our stories has the potential to cause people to be amazed by God.
The Greek word used here for amazed is thaumázō. It means to “…wonder at, be amazed… astonished out of one’s senses; awestruck… to regard with amazement, and with a suggestion of beginning to speculate on the matter.”[i]
By sharing his story Legion caused the people to be so struck with wonder that they couldn’t think straight. Amazed by the change in this man’s life, they began to speculate about the cause—about Jesus. Our stories can cause people to begin to think about Jesus.
Tell Your Story
Regardless of who God is asking us to go to, in order to accomplish the task, we must take that first step. We must go and tell our story—to cause people to sit up and take notice of the amazing change in our lives so they will wonder about Jesus.
Being transparent enough to tell our stories is difficult. We don’t want people to know our weaknesses, do we? But it is seeing God’s mercy through those weaknesses that will cause those around us amazement. Our stories are what cause people to wonder about Jesus. Like Legion, we need to go and tell others our stories, so they will notice God in us and be amazed by Him.
(As we explore how to Tell Your Story, each contributor will share a part of their God story with us. Trisha’s Story is here.)
- What has God done for you that would cause others to wonder about Jesus?
- Where—to whom—should you personally go?
- How can you share your story with that person or persons?
- Do you spend so much time learning at the feet of Jesus that you do not tell others your story?