“Go home to your friends and tell them”
– Jesus (Mark 5:19)
Jesus teaches the crowds. So many had gathered, so great was his fame, that they were becoming dangerous. Jesus tells his disciples to cross the lake, and says he’ll catch up shortly. But during the night, a storm comes. The disciples, still in the boat, begin to get desperate. Until they see, strangely, Jesus walking to them…on top of the water. Jesus makes the storm go away.
On reaching the other side, they find a man with freakish strength, possessed by demons, and terrorizing the local town. Jesus fixes him, too.
And then, the man–overcome with Jesus and his power–asks if he too can go with Jesus. And in one of the most interesting parts of this narrative, Jesus tells him: no.
He tells him to go back to those who know him best, because that’s where the greatest impact of Jesus’ work will happen.
In his master-strategy sort of way, God had already placed the man–prior even to his conversion–exactly where he wanted him.
Often it’s like that for us, too.
We don’t always need to leave to follow.
We just need to follow.
God has a way of working out the rest.