“Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.”
Mark 5:3-4 KJV
Very familiar story isn’t it? Jesus and the disciples make it safely through the storm to the other side, Jesus is immediately met by a wild man who is demon possessed. We know how the story turns out, Jesus frees the man of his possession, casts the demons out, they beg to be allowed to possess some pigs, they enter the pigs and they run into the sea committing “suey-cide” (please don’t fire me after that joke) the townspeople see the man clothed, and in his right mind sitting at Jesus’ feet. What changed from verse 3 where this man is so wild he can’t be tied up with chains? What was the difference? Obviously the answer to that is Jesus. We’ve become good at trying to force our rules, and restrictions on people who have never had an encounter with Jesus. I think sometimes we try to treat the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself. The townspeople thought if we could just tie him up, put restrictions on him, our problem will go away. It didn’t work with this man, and it won’t work with an unsaved world either. The world doesn’t need my vocabulary, my standards, my rules, or regulations, they don’t need the way I dress or the version of the Bible I choose to read, they don’t even need my convictions, they need a real encounter with Jesus. That is what makes the difference, that is the only thing that will make lasting change. We have to be a witness to people, the right kind of witness. Maybe you say I don’t know where to start. Could I encourage you today? You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to share the gospel, in fact you don’t have to memorize or be all that familiar with any verses at all. Look what Jesus told this man to do in verses 19-20 “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” Jesus just said tell your friends what I’ve done for you, and how I’ve showed compassion to you. That is something we can all do. After all scripture tells us that it’s the “goodness of God that leadeth men to repentance.” Let’s brag on Jesus, what He’s done for us, and how He has loved us not our standards.