Sunday, January 31, 2010

True Evangelism

Mark 5:18-19
(18)  As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.
(19)  And he did not permit him but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

(18)  καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον παρεκάλει αὐτὸν ὁ δαιμονισθεὶς ἵνα μετ' αὐτοῦ ᾖ. 

(19)  καὶ οὐκ ἀφῆκεν αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ λέγει αὐτῷ, Ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου πρὸς τοὺς σούς, καὶ ἀπάγγειλον αὐτοῖς ὅσα ὁ κύριός σοι πεποίηκεν καὶ ἠλέησέν σε.

This is an extremely convicting passage for me.  The demoniac rightly wanted to follow Jesus.  Jesus had just set him free from unspeakable terrors.  I think back to my bondage to pornography as well as to gluttony and laziness, but neither really holds a candle to this.  This man was living in tombs and was clearly out of his mind.  In our society he would be continually jacked up with thorazine and kept in a locked facility.  Jesus set him free from all that.

His reaction was pretty sensible.  Jesus gave him everything, so he was ready to give everything to Jesus.  I can guess that Jesus appreciated the offer, but he commanded something much more useful.  He told the man to go and tell his family all that the Lord had done for him.  The word σοι is in the dative, so you could read it very woodenly as "to you."  

Why does this convict me?  The prospect of telling others (such as you, dear reader) about my past is easier than telling my family.  My immediate family knows my story of course.  However, it is discouraging to see so little immediate fruit from it.  I haven't seen my story lead to any lives that are obviously sold-out for following Jesus.

I guess I shouldn't be too convicted because I have obeyed this verse.  I just have a sense that there is more for me to do.  Maybe I should do more with my coworkers.  Maybe I should actually make some non-Christian friends and tell them about what the Lord has done to me, though I've done that a little bit too.  

I realize that it is my job to sow and God's job to create a harvest.  Yet I still read this passage wondering what else I need to do.  Am I bold enough?  Am I faithful enough?  What if anything needs to change?

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