The Hard Answer

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” – Mark 5:18-23

Gulls at Sunrise | Galveston, Texas | August 2020

Maybe you’ve had to be the bad guy: No, you can’t go to the prom with him. No. You didn’t get the promotion. The job’s not yours. No you can’t go with us. You’ll stay with the babysitter while we go out.

You might think of Jesus in this mode as he rejects the once-possessed man’s begging to go with him. The man had been released from a grave condition. He no longer needed to be tied with chains. He didn’t have to inhabit the graves. He was no longer subject to the legion of demons who tormented him.

Jesus had done this. Jesus was on a mission. Surely this man would be a powerful testimony to Jesus’ power over evil, and his goodness toward those in bondage to sin, Satan or death. It makes perfect sense that this man should be allowed to accompany Jesus. 

But Jesus will not allow him to come along. “No, go home to your family…” Sounds like a real downer attitude on the surface. 

Consider, however, what has happened since the man had been healed. The demons go into the pigs. The pigs rush over into the sea. The people of the village beg Jesus to depart from them. Go away. Leave us alone. Don’t trouble us anymore. A sad request to be sure. 

If Jesus leaves – which he is in the process of doing – there would be no more of his powerful ministry among them. No more demons would be cast out there. No more diseases cured. No more teaching from the Son of God. Their great loss. Jesus says, “Whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God” (Luke 12:9). Would this be their eternal lot?

Only God knows anyone’s eternal destiny. God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God want people to recognize Jesus as the embodiment of his gracious rule and reign. He wants all to repent and believe the Good News of his redeeming love. God wants the lost found and the sinner saved. 

That’s where this hard answer comes into play. Jesus will not let the man come along because he has a special mission for him. “Go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 

The man may not accompany Jesus, but he will be a witness to Jesus. And so it goes. You might not get the promotion. The opportunity to travel may not be offered to you. You might not be able to spend time with a special someone. But you do have a purpose. And it’s greater and more far-reaching than any personal desire we may have. 

The Fuller Context of this Encounter

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”

24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” – Mark 5:18-34

2 comments
  1. martha warnasch said:

    So sorry to bother you, I’m confused about the Bible references. My ESV do s not have the same as your Mark 6:18-23. Help whenever you have time. I know you have much to do…..for His kingdom is indeed at hand, and there are many who’ve not yet met Jesus.

    Martha

    • My mistake. The reference should have been Mark 5.

      David Bahn

      And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. God saw that the light was good. – Genesis 1:3-4

      >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: