Summary: If God can use the former demoniac to reach his family, he can use you to reach your family too. The power of new believers simply telling his story is tremendous.
We are about to discuss something that should be dear to your heart, your family. You can be assured that your family is dear to the heart of God as well. I want to emphasize your family using the story of the demoniac in Mark Chapter 5. Now I am not going to compare the demoniac to your family, no! Actually I am going to compare YOU to the demoniac! There is a great lesson in this story in what God has for us to do. If God can use the former demoniac to reach his family, he can use you to reach your family too.
I) the Miracle: Mark 5 verses 2-6.
Here we see one of the most dramatic miracles of Jesus. He healed a man who was in a desperate spiritual state. This was a demon possessed man. We will see how the Lord used this man.
When Jesus entered the Garasenes area this demon possessed man came to him. He lived in the tombs. He had been chained hand and foot and the demons gave him an uncontrollable strength to break the chains. No one could subdue him. He was not in his right mind, crying out continually in self destructive behavior. Living in the tombs, crying out, cutting himself he had sunk to the lowest low.
This demon possessed man ran up to Jesus and fell on his knees before Jesus. The demon cried out, What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me! He begged Jesus again and again not to send him out of the area.
Jesus did a miracle and healed the demoniac. Jesus cast the demons into a heard of two thousand pigs. The pigs ran over the side of the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
The people who had been attending the pigs ran off into town and told them in the town what had happened. They came and saw the man formerly demon possessed sitting there in his right mind. The whole thing frightened them.
The reaction of the people was not about the healing of the demon possessed man, but rather their reaction was on what happened to the pigs. They wanted Jesus to get out of their region. They asked Jesus to leave. Despite the miracle the people wanted Jesus to leave. Their focus was on the economic loss of the two thousand pigs.
A demon possessed man was delivered. You may not have reached the same low as this demon possessed man. But every person without Christ is in the same spiritual condition. We are totally depraved until the Lord saves us.
II) The request: Mark 5:18
Now let’s look at the request of the man formerly demon possessed who has now been healed. Now he makes a request. What is his request? Jesus I want to come with you.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
We see this kind of request all the time in the political realm- politicians expand their cabinet all the time. Instead of leaving his home place, he tells him to go back to his home place. Jesus puts the emphasis on this mans family.
He wanted to follow Jesus. He was asking Jesus to be his thirteenth disciple. It is a natural request. Jesus, you have saved me, let me walk with you. Jesus, I will leave everything, including my home place and go with you.
III) Jesus response: Mark 5:19
19 Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
Jesus knew what would be best. The greatest benefit to the Kingdom would be if this man went back to his family. He instructed him to go back home and tell everyone how much the Lord had done for him.
The Lord’s will to use a new believer is by starting with their own family. Look at throughout the Bible how God used his servants to save their family. In the training for trainers (T4T) study there are a number of examples of God’s desire to save your family laid out; Noah, Lot, Rehab, Cornelius, Lydia and the Philippian Jailer.
Who was saved along with Noah? His family. God used Noah and saved his entire family through him. (Genesis 7:1)
Who was saved along with Lot? His family. (Genesis 19:12-23) - When God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Regretfully, Lot’s daughter in laws did not listen to him and were not saved (this might be the result of Lot not having a good testimony so in time of emergency; he could not save his entire family). In the end, only Lot and his two daughters survived, but this was not God’ will. God’s desire is to save the entire family.