“Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you”Mark 5:19
This man had been possessed by many demons and was helpless to deliver himself from them. They controlled him, making his life an absolute misery. The locals had tried binding him with ropes and even with chains but failed to help him (v 4). He was living among the dead (v 3) and wished himself dead. He had tried to end his life on many occasions but the demons prevented him (v 5). Suicide seemed his only escape from the relentless torture of his demon possessed life.
Jesus had come, with His disciples, from across the sea to meet this man. Unlike the locals who had no compassion him, Jesus had compassion on him. The locals were only concerned about the disruption to their own lives and wanted the man out of their way and out of sight. When Jesus impacted their livelihood they wanted Him gone as well (v 17). They could readily see the result of Jesus’ compassion, and the demons’ obedience to Him, but their greed and comfort blinded them from knowing who Jesus is. The question didn’t even come to their minds. Who is Jesus that He has authority over demons? Only the previously demon possessed man discovered the answer to that question that day.
Jesus left this man behind though he pleaded to go with them (v 18). Jesus had a mission for him. He was told to tell his friends what the Lord had done for him but especially that the Lord had compassion on him. Essentially that is what all of us who have been delivered from Satan’s power should do. Perhaps we forget that we were once under Satan’s power and helpless to deliver ourselves. Perhaps we are inclined to credit ourselves with wisdom or strength to set us free from sin and death. We should remind ourselves that we were just as powerless as this demon possessed man until Jesus came. Though they could see the man in a right mind and heard that Jesus had done this great thing the locals demanded Jesus leave (vv 15-16). There are people like the demon possessed man who are attempting suicide to escape the tortures of a godless world. Jesus went well out of His way, with His disciples, to free this man because He had compassion on him. Thank God there are those disciples who do similarly today.