Mark 5: 1-20 “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.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”
Have you ever taken a trip (well not in the last year!!) that you never wanted to end? To have had such a life changing experience that you could see yourself always being a part of that experience? We’ve had a few, although honestly, when we travel, we’re both done and ready for home after about 10 days. We once took a trip to the States, and even with 5 days left of our vacation, we drove straight through from Nashville to home – just to be home. But, put us in the Rockies or me in Israel – it’s much harder to leave.
Our trip around the Galilee has us at the north end of the lake today. If you draw an imaginary line through the lake – the east is where some of the 10 communities of the Decapolis were in Jesus’ time, and was populated by Gentiles. The miracle of healing took place in the community of Kursi.
Our account today records an encounter with a man who under the possession of demons, and because he refers to himself as “Legion”, we know that there were many demons to be dealt with. Jesus drives them out and has them settle in a herd of pigs (that’s how we know it was the Gentile area of Galilee). Those pigs then run off a cliff and drown in the waters of the lake.
At the excavations of Kursi, the ruins of the 5th Century Byzantine monastery were first unearthed by road construction crews. The major excavation of the site took place between 1971 and 1974. The monastery was surrounded by a stone wall, the entrance of which faced the Sea of Galilee and was guarded by a watchtower, with a paved road leading down to a harbour where boats could berth – the site of an ancient fishing village. You can still see caves and a long cliff that fit the description of the situation in this Jesus encounter.
After the healing, the man wants to join Jesus and travel with him. Jesus tells him to “Go Home” and “tell them how much the Lord has done for you.”
“Mountain top” experiences are easy to stay in, but life happens in the valleys. Mountain tops are beautiful and enticing, but valleys are real, and rough and sometimes, pretty dark. But, when you’ve been taken to the mountain top and had your life changed, your job is to go back to the valley and tell people what God has done for you.
That can be scary, but no one but you can truly tell your story. No one else has had your experience of God’s presence and work. Let the memories of your “mountain top” keep you energized and be a reminder of God’s work in your life when times are hard. But, let them be an encouragement to others so that they might seek their own “mountain”. As God to show you just one person who need to hear your story this coming week, and when He does, “tell them how much the Lord has done for you”.