October 17, 2018
The thought of spreading the gospel to people in distant lands is exciting. Jesus said, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son.” (Matt. 28:19) Winning millions of people in foreign countries gets instant buy-in.
Kids get exciting to go from their home church to a distant church to conduct vacation Bible school.
But what is your response when called to witness to your neighbor who is lost? Is it easy to share the Good News with a co-worker, a fellow student, or a family member? God’s is as concerned for the lost individuals in your circle of acquaintances as He is for the people outside your circle.
Many Christians, proponents of missions, find it difficult to share the Word with those they know because the people they know, remember them.
St. Mark writes about a time when Jesus crossed Lake Galilee and visited the region of the Gadarenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man possessed with a demonic spirit came, from the tombs where he lived, to meet him. The man possessed by the demons ran and fell on his knees in front of Jesus.
Jesus knew his problem and commanded the demons to come out of the man, and He cast the demons into a large herd of pigs nearby. Once the demons found a home in swine, the swine rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
The owners of the swine and other townspeople were shocked to see what had happened, and 17 they asked Jesus to leave their region
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
The man volunteered to spread Jesus’ fame everywhere he went with Jesus. Jesus wanted him to stay behind because he had work for him to do in those parts among his friends, relations, and countrymen. Witnessing to people who knew what he had been, called for character, perseverance, and power from above.
When is the last time you asked someone, “Do you know Jesus?” If they answered “no”, what did you do?