14 The herdsmen ran off and told this to those in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the former demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the same man who had had the legion; and they were terrified. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the pigs reported it. 17 Then they began to plead with Jesus to leave their neighbourhood. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons pleaded with him that he might stay with him. 19 And Jesus refused, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has shown mercy to you.” 20 And he went away and began to preach in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
and Jesus refused
If I were that man who had been demonised, I could have put forth several arguments in favour of my joining the disciples. I could have explained how convincing it would be to have a former demoniac to answer questions about spiritual warfare. I could have pointed out that the village which used to fear me – now fears Jesus more, and I am sold out to Jesus, so they are bound to fear me again. Or, I could have said that I had done a lot of harm in my crazy years among the Gerasenes, so it would be hard for people to forget all that bad history. Better to have a new start someplace else.
But Jesus refused. He is the master, he decides where his disciples go and what they do. He wanted that former demoniac to serve him among these same people who saw him serving Satan. Who knows how many from that village owe their salvation to the influence of that man? His first act of obedience was letting go of his plans, and surrendering to Christ’s plan.
LORD, help us to understand when our ideas are not fitting into your plan.