We’ve all heard stories of a single vote that decided the fate of an election, or remember the lesson of the Knight Rider: One person can make a difference. But have you ever been alone in a crowd when it comes to Christian faith? Even if no one says anything negative, the temptation is to clam up about anything religious, to simply go with the flow. Can one believer really make a difference?
In Mark 5 Jesus and his disciples land in the country of the Gerasenes. They meet a man who calls himself Legion, and you’ve probably heard this story. He is possessed by many demons and lives among the tombs, outcast from society. He is raving mad, crying out and cutting himself. He is wild, unclothed, and cannot be held even by chains. After Jesus casts the demons into a herd of pigs, the crowd comes out from the towns to see what is going on. They see the man known to them as Legion (we never learn his given name) clothed and in his right mind. Jesus possesses a power unfamiliar to them; who could do such things? Their collective reaction is fear, and the mob as it were demand that Jesus and company get back in their boat and go back the way the came. When the man asked to go with them, Jesus replied “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19 He immediately began to proclaim all that Jesus had done, and verse 20 tells us that everyone marveled. But as Paul Harvey might ask, do you know the rest of the story?
At the end of Mark 6, Jesus and his disciples return to Gennesaret, having been blown off their course toward Bethsaida. Even as they got out of the boat the people recognized them, and ran into all the towns and villages to bring Jesus their sick. In the passage of time between the beginning of chapter 5 and the end of chapter 6, a huge following had developed. One man, with no religious training and possibly no education whatsoever, had been telling others what Jesus did for him. Because of the testimony of one man, an entire region sought out Jesus – and he healed every last one. So I have just two thorny questions:
What has Jesus done for you?
Who have you told?