The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”
When I was in the Sixth Form at school, I was quite ill for a while. One of the things that got me through and helped me to recover much quicker than had been expected was the kindness of my friends and family, who all prayed regularly for me, and encouraged their friends to do the same on my behalf. Without them, I’m sure that my illness would have lasted longer, and would have had a far more permanent impact on my life.
Apart from it wasn’t really my friends and family who brought about my recovery. It was God. It was God who listened to their prayers, and God who ultimately brought about my speedy recovery. I’m still indebted to those people who did pray for bringing my case to the Lord in prayer, but ultimately it was he who helped me recover, and he who I should be thanking.
The man who had been possessed by demons quite rightly wants to thank Jesus for his recovery, and wants to join his band of followers. Jesus has other ideas, though; he wants him to go home and tell everyone what God has done for him. He wants the man to recognize who it was who expelled the demons, and changed his life. It was God.
The difference between my case and this poor man’s, though, is that where my friends were asking God to heal me, Jesus himself healed this man; he did it in his own name. Why, then does he tell the man to go home and tell his friends what God has done for him? Because Jesus is God. He was able to expel the demons and to change this man’s life precisely because he, himself, is God. He wants the man to recognize this, and to tell everyone he knows the truth about Jesus.
Jesus might have expelled the demons from this man, but he died for us so that we could be at peace with our creator, and enjoy eternal life with him. How much more has he done for us, then? How much more should we be striving to tell all those we know of how much God has done for us?