“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” Mark 5:18-20
The formerly demon-possessed man wanted this moment to last. His life before meeting Jesus was awful, isolated, painful, and out of control. Now he was free! He had been liberated! He begged Jesus to let him go with Him. But Jesus said “no.”
It would be a lot easier on all of us if Jesus were to take us home with Him once we repented of our sin and placed our faith in Him. No more pain, no more suffering, no more tears. A perfect place with our perfect Lord. But that is not His plan… not yet! Why not?
It’s because there are still so many who have yet to be introduced to Jesus. The Apostle Peter put it this way. “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” (2Pet 3:9) You and I are part of God’s plan in connecting others to Jesus Christ. There are still so many who haven’t heard about Jesus. We, as fishers of men, have been commissioned by God to proclaim the good news to them.
Obviously you can’t repent for someone else, but you can encourage it. You can tell others how your faith in Christ has radically changed everything for you. Others will see the difference and wonder if it could happen to them too. You’ll be able to say to them a resounding, “YES.”
But it won’t be easy. There will be opposition. There will be rejection. There will be some who don’t understand. But it’s still worth it. When you see someone who not only listens to you as you share the Gospel but also invites Christ into their life, you will know the delay was worth it all.
“So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.” It’s time for those of us who follow Jesus to go and tell… That’s what a “fisher of men” does.