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Monday, February 11, 2013

It's My Testimony, My Story to tell!

Mark 5

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

This nameless man that we encounter in the Gospel of Mark 5, has only a story of hopelessness and bondage when he encounters Jesus.  His only name is Legion (for many 1000's of demons within him) I would also use my eisegetical mind and read into the text that this man had also physically been called many 1000's of derogatory and humiliating names. I can imagine him being call a thief, liar, killer, stupid, poor, evil, ugly, and more... The very interesting thing is that even though chains being bound hand and foot can no longer contain, even though no one can subdue him he is still living among the TOMBS/ graveyard until he encounters Jesus.  Many people today, even in the church were once chained to Sin and Death have broken those chains but still choose to live among the dead! It's only when one encounters Jesus that the real story begins as Christ begins to shift the atmosphere and provide him/us with life changing testimony.

Jesus speaks to and deals with the ISSUE in this man liberating him from the issues of the past. The people looking on can not understand the miracle that they are witnessing and choose to focus on the loss of money and possession of the pigs instead of the gain of new-life the man has just received, so they ask Christ to leave there land. 

However the man now sitting in his right mind is there with a new story, a TESTIMONY that only he can tell. He is instructed by Jesus in '19 to go to your home and be a witness for only you can tell your own story accurately. Family each of us has a testimony that we must share to those whom we encounter. All of a sudden for the man in the scripture and for us when we meet Jesus our true story begins the places like Decapolis (ten cities)  we have come from must be the places we go to reveal God's glorious grace and mercy in our lives.

Anthony Brown and Group Therapy have a song called Testimony that comes to mind when I read today's text, I invite you to listen to it: Anthony Brown & Group Therapy Testimony
If you are at work and can not listen then you can read the lyrics here: Testimony Lyrics 

Dear God thank you for your grace and mercy, thank you for coming in are lives to deal with our issues. We pray that you help us to bring your message to the world through sharing our testimony. Amen.

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