Mark 5:14-20 – The People’s Response
The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
How often do I say no? No to the blessings before me? No to the callings and directions ahead? No to the changes required in my life that could greatly improve the lives of others? I kept thinking of the no’s that we see in this passage by those who want Jesus out of their town. They are honestly understandably upset because Jesus just cost someone a lot of money with a herd of pigs that just drowned. They are scared because of what power was just displayed before them. But they also seem to miss the life that has utterly been transformed. This man who was a terror in so many ways has been set free. Yet there are the no’s. There is the fear and the anger. No. No. No. Too often it’s too easy to say no because of the changes that a yes will require. Too easy to just stay with what we have always know. Too often it’s too easy to say no to paying a little more to buy local or buy fair trade. Or to say no to actions that can help protect our planet for future generations because of the sacrifice that would be required of us. Yes comes with a cost. Yes comes with sacrifice. But it is in the yes where we are able to witness, celebrate, and share the power of God at work.