14 The people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with 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.”
This interaction between Jesus and the man delivered from demons causes me to chuckle and be challenged! While the man wants to jump in, Jesus pushes out and tells him to go back…back into his neighborhood to be an influence.
I sense Jesus challenges a lifestyle of following Him that is so insulated with activity within the body of Christ, one becomes spiritually isolated from those within their relational orbit who are far from Christ. Jesus’ invitation to me this season is to push away from His Body a bit more and reach out to my literal neighbors a lot more by inviting them to our home and simply have FUN with them.
Jesus, instead of going to evangelize, lead me to Emmanuelize — bringing You to my neighbors.
Terry Reilley, Pastor
Creekside Open Bible Church – Martinez