As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 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.” 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 (Mark 5:18-20).
This story seems to captivate Mark. He gives it more attention than any of the other gospel writers. Among the details only Mark mentions is the healed man’s response of discipleship.
The demons in the story beg Jesus not to send them out of the area. They beg Jesus to send them among the pigs. The people beg Jesus to leave their area. But the demon possessed man begs to follow Jesus and though Jesus doesn’t allow it, he does commission him to tell what God has done for him – which is interesting because up to now, Jesus has forbidden anyone to speak of him (see Mark 1:24, 25, 34; 3:12) – not that anyone paid attention.
What made this man such an acceptable evangelist?
I note this difference. The demons, and the people of Gerasa all wanted Jesus to do what they wanted. The healed man simply wanted to do what Jesus wanted – and was willing to do it.
Certainly we all ought to tell our family and friends what Jesus has done for us, but our story becomes more credible when it flows from an obedient heart. People will truly be amazed at what God can do with our lives when we let Him have His way rather than when He lets us have our way.