Episode #182: Against The Odds
And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged Him that he might go with Him. And Jesus did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends an tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:17-19)
Throughout history there have been stories of the unlikely hero, the underdog who had the odds stacked against them. The Bible contains several of these stories. Gideon and his 300 men faced the Midianite Army that was so vast the Bible described them as a swarm of locusts. The disciples as they began their ministry were a mere 120, dropped immediately behind enemy lines of an oppressive Roman rule and a corrupt Jewish Temple regime with thousands of followers. Probably the most famous underdog story in the Bible is David and Goliath. The shepherd boy that dared walk out to fight a giant so terrible that none of Saul’s army would approach him.
Gideon and his 300 defeated the Midianites without ever raising a sword. The disciples changed their world and ours today with nothing more than a message of hope and a conviction strong enough to die for. David famously struck down Goliath with a sling and a stone before using the giant’s own sword to cut off his head.
Here we see this man, recently freed from the possession of a legion of demons, being sent by Jesus back to his friends to be a witness of all God had done for him. Keep in mind, as we previously discussed, those same demons were still in the area tormenting the people there. There were also the people who witnessed the pigs being possessed and thrown into the sea. These people purposely asked Jesus to leave their area out of fear for his supernatural power. These are the odds this man now faced. This new disciple wasn’t sent with any helpers. Jesus didn’t leave behind any of the disciples to back him up. He wasn’t brought back to Jerusalem and given a formal apologetic education before being sent out.
No, all he was armed with was his story of what the Lord had done for him and how the Lord had mercy on him. This might not seem like much but it was all he needed. Our new friend was obedient. Not only obedient but also rather effective. Verse 20 tells us, “And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him, and all marveled.” The Decapolis was a region of 10 cities under Greek rule. This man didn’t just go home to his friends, he went from city to city telling his story. Later in chapter 7 we see the impact he had on the area. As Jesus returns to the region of the Decapolis, the people welcome Him and bring the sick to him for healing instead of running Jesus out of town. Even with the odds stacked against him, this one man made a huge impact that would lead to the healing of others.
Let us be a people who aren’t afraid to go against the odds for Jesus. Let us proclaim to our friends and all who will listen, our story of how much the Lord has done for us, and how He had mercy on us. Let our new life in Christ be the witness that causes people to come to Jesus for healing when they would formerly push Him away.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!