“So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him”.
Mk 5:20 NIV
Sometimes the expansion of Christianity has developed out of a deliberate plan of action by a church or missionary society. But often it has started when some unofficial person, guided by God, has taken the initiative. The Methodist Church began in Southern Africa when British soldiers landed at Cape Town at the end of the eighteenth century and one of them, a Sergeant Kendrick, started holding services.
Jesus told the healed demoniac that he was to go back to his family. He was not to be stopped. He went around the area known as the Decapolis telling them what Christ had done for him. This was a fairly large area to the south east of the Sea of Galilee not strictly speaking a part of Israel. The word means “Ten Cities”. They had been built three hundred years earlier during the period of Greek dominance under Alexander the Great. Greek culture and architecture flourished but Jewish influence spread about two centuries before Christ, They were restored to independence by Pompey, the Roman emperor who conquered Palestine. At the time of Jesus Greek and Roman culture flourished there. So when the healed man went around telling people what Jesus had done he was, in effect, doing the work of a missionary in an alien culture. The man who had been a walking civil war was now a walking missionary society! Maybe he was Christ’s first missionary – whilst the apostles were still in training?
Be God’s person wherever you are. Link up with others wherever possible for fellowship and mutual care. Strengthen and encourage each other and be the presence of Christ however alien the surroundings.
Lord, let me be an advocate for you.