Today I remember the story of the demon-possessed man who Jesus heals from chapter 5 of Mark. I remember how, as Jesus got into the boat to leave, this healed man begged to go with Jesus. The text doesn’t tell us, but I imagine this man not only wanted to be with the one who had healed him, but he also imagined that he would now live an extraordinary life of adventure.
I imagine that he might have been willing to suffer greatly, to sacrifice much, to travel far, to work hard, to do anything. Take me, Jesus! I’ll go anywhere and do anything for you!
But the text says that Jesus says, “No.”
Jesus says, “No, go home to your family and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”
So the man returns home to the boring, comfortable regions he already knows, and he proclaims the great things Jesus has done. The text says that “everyone was amazed at what he told them.”
Sometimes we see the trend in Christian living that exalts the exciting life of adventure and sacrifice. We note the ones who suffer greatly, sacrifice much, travel far, and work hard. But what if God sends you back to boring, comfortable, ordinary family life where you daily proclaim the great things of Jesus? Is that less meaningful and less important?
Jesus said, “No.”
Jesus had a different plan for the man who wanted to get into the boat. He was to stay home and not go. Sometimes, that’s the way we’re called to live, and in the midst of this kind of ordinary family living, I remember it.