How to be a REAL WITNESS of God’s DELIVERANCE? Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you." And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. (Luke 8:38-40)
The story of the healing of the demon-possessed man of the country of the Gadarenes took place in the eastern edge of the steep slopes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. This story (vv. 26-40) illustrates four traits of the demon-possessed unnamed man:
- He was insane and was totally out of his mind (v. 29)
- He was indecent and exposed his naked body completely (v. 27b)
- He was injurious and self-inflicted grievous wounds upon self (Mark 5:4–5)
- He was infamous and had no friends or family nearby (v. 39)
The healing of the demon-possessed man of the country of the Gadarenes (v. 28) should have endeared Jesus to the people, but these people were concerned more about pigs and money than about people and mercy. The man who begged to go with Jesus was the sanest one of all! Darby in his book ‘Synopsis’ observes the following: "The world beseeches Jesus to depart, desiring their own ease, which is more disturbed by the presence and power of God than by a legion of devils. He goes away. The man who was healed ... wants to be with Jesus; but the Lord sends him back ... to be a witness of the grace and power of which he had been the subject".
The restored man was most likely a Gentile from the country of the Gadarenes. Jesus sent him back home to tell his family and friends of God’s power and grace—possibly making him the first known Gentile evangelist. With Jesus gone it was important that the man work for God in that region and among his own family and friends. Along with his healing, the man received a responsibility: to bear witness of the deliverance that God has brought in his life!
As we read further, later when Jesus visited Decapolis, a large sympathetic crowd met Him (see Mark 7:31–37). This would have been the result of the faithful witness of the healed demoniac. So, we can ask ourselves: how can we be a real witness of God’s deliverance? This is possible through complete obedience of the command of Jesus (as the man obeyed Jesus completely by proclaiming in his own house and throughout his hometown what great things Jesus had done for him). The man told his own story of his own deliverance through Jesus to people with whom he encountered in his life.