“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.”
This passage struck me the other day as I was reading it, especially in light of the church plant in Claremont and those that are praying about joining. I pray these thoughts will free you to love the call the go and love the CALL TO STAY.
IT MAKES SENSE TO GO
This demon healed man requested something of Jesus that made absolute sense: LET ME GO WITH YOU. It makes all the sense to me that he would ask this, as Luke 8 starts off describing how Jesus was going from town to town doing ministry and there were a group of disciples and a group of women following Him. This man wanted to join that group and it made great sense – (1) It was an expression of his gratitude (2) Which of the disciples had a testimony like this man? (3) I think this man must have thought “How can I stay. I don’t fit here.” Luke tells us he used to run around naked in the tombs and the people would shackle him up in chains and he would break free from that. Try living with that history and overcoming the suspicions and whispers even after you are healed.
So it makes sense to me that this man wanted to go.
JESUS COMMANDS HIM TO STAY
This man wanted to go with Jesus, but the only place Jesus wanted this man to go was to go home. In other words, stay where you are at. If he went he would be proclaiming the works of God. If he stayed, he was to proclaim the works of God. Same work, different location, and only one person determines where the work is to be done – Jesus.
THE MAN THRIVES IN THE FREEDOM TO STAY
Jesus said go home (Greek word: oy’-kos, meaning dwelling, implying family). Go to your family and proclaim. Stay. And in that command and empowering this man was free NOT TO GO and instead stayed where he was at. And in staying and in obeying, this man not only proclaimed to his family, Luke tells us he proclaimed “to the whole city”.
The call to go and start new is not greater than the call to stay and push on.
My deep prayer for each of you that reads this and are still asking to “go” is that you simply hear the voice of Jesus and live in the freedom of obedience to do His will with JOY!