What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus is willing to be interrupted, even when under pressure, to stop and heal a woman and listen to her story.
- We must be willing to be interruptible, recognizing that God often places people in our path not to distract us, but because he wants us to love on them.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus sent the man who was possessed sent back to his own people, despite his desire to follow Jesus, to tell them what Jesus had done for them.
- Sometimes we need to be willing to be sent back to our own people, our own family even, in order to tell them what Jesus has done for us.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Three enormous stories! I am only going to touch on the first one.
Jesus’decision to cross the lake is interesting. He intentionally takes his message to the non-Jewish region on the eastern shore of Galilee called Decapolis, the Ten Cities. Jews considered Gentiles to be “dogs”and yet Jesus reaches out to them, too.
You do not find a much more pitiful, more tormented soul in the gospels than Legion. The power of Christ’s touch upon his life is right up there with a resurrection, for surely his life was worse than death, wasn’t it?
Two fascinating things, though: first, the townspeople ask Jesus to leave them. Even though they had seen a wondrous work of power, the loss of their pigs, perhaps, prompted them to ask Jesus to go away. I WONDER…how many times do we feel that the work of Christ is too costly? It demands more of us than we can bear. Even though we see how good it is, we’d rather keep our pigs than to keep Jesus.
Also, notice that Legion WANTS to follow Jesus…but Jesus sends him back to his people. Sometimes the call of Christ is NOT out and away…but right back in to our own world to share Christ with those who have known us best, seen us at our worst and now must come to grips with the transformation that has been wrought in our lives by the power of Christ. Believe me…disciple-making among your own people can be some of the most dangerous of Christian missionary work!