v 20. So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.
The same thing has been going on for two millennia. Round the world women and men have been repeating the story of how Jesus has transformed their lives. This particular man had quite a tale to tell. The picture you get of him in the first 5 verses is pretty horrific; it is demon-possession of the very worst kind, and obviously frightening for others who came into contact with him. The transformation that took place was also disturbing for people. ‘A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid.‘ (v 15) No longer afraid of the man who had been demon-possessed, but of Jesus! Such was His evident power that the herd of pigs had rushed headlong into the lake. That was enough to worry anyone, so ‘The crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.‘ (v 17) Who knows what this powerful man might do next, they must have thought.
The man who had been possessed was of a different mind; if Jesus was leaving, he wanted to accompany Him. A very natural reaction of course. He knew full-well how much he owed to Jesus, so to want to follow Him and be a disciple was understandable. Just the kind of transformed individual that Jesus might have wanted as a follower, you might have thought!
But no, Jesus had a better plan. This demon-possessed man must have been well-known in the locality, so Jesus sends him away to talk to people about his experiences. His life-change was a dramatic testimony to Jesus’ compassion and power. Surely, he was one of the very first Evangelists, going around the towns telling people about Jesus, amazing them not only with his story but also with his now-normal appearance.
Not many of us have such a dramatic story of how Jesus intervened in our lives. For me, it was so much more mundane when as a young Pilot officer in the RAF I was confronted with the claims of Jesus, and my life was turned around to follow Him – and He continues to challenge me even now, some 60 years on. What is your story? Has Jesus challenged you and turned your life round to follow Him?
Are you able to tell the same story of how Jesus touched your life and transformed it? Jesus was a Man whose life and work has been talked about like no other.