Weekly Devotionals

Week of Monday, July 26 ­– Sunday August 1
Recommend Jesus – Man as an Instructor
 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. —Mark 5:18-20

Do you find it easy to make a recommendation based on an enjoyable experience? When my wife and I find a great restaurant, I have no trouble telling all my friends and family to try it. Or when I read a great book or see a movie that I really like, I’m quick to bring it up in conversation and suggest others check it out. We like for others to experience the things we enjoy. We don’t want them to miss out. But when it comes to the gospel message, most of us are less enthusiastic about recommending Jesus. Why is that?

Like most believers, when we first come to know the Lord, we tend to talk about Him openly and frequently. But somewhere along the way, many of us stop talking about Jesus in our daily conversations. If you are a typical Christian, you may have some hang-ups about sharing your faith, telling your story, talking about Jesus. And there are a lot of reasons we might give, but the bottom line is that many of us feel awkward and unqualified to recommend Jesus to others. Many of us are apprehensive about someone thinking we are odd or even fanatical.

The guy in Mark 5 didn’t have any such hang-ups about recommending Jesus. In fact, he was ready to go with Jesus and to tell everyone how the Lord had liberated him from demons. But Jesus said “No” to his request. The Lord had a more important mission for him. He was to go back home and tell his friends about “how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (v. 19).

That was a tall order. I dare say few wanted this (former) troublemaker around their town because of his dark and demonized past. He’d been an untamed outcast for who knows how long. He had burned his bridges with those folks. Put yourself in their sandals and it is not a stretch to think it would have been tough for the neighbors he had terrorized to receive him back into their community. Bottom line: This man didn’t have any earthly reason to return to his own town, but Jesus gave him a “heavenly” one. So he returned home and he not only told everyone in his town about what the Lord had done for him, but in the Decapolis, which was a 10-town region south of the Sea of Galilee. Everywhere he told his story, everyone marveled (v. 20).

Just like the demon-possessed man, it is our great honor to tell what Jesus has done for us. Obviously, most of us don’t have a story as dramatic as his, but if you belong to Jesus, you have a story to tell about “how he has had mercy on you.” Still feeling intimidated? Worried about answering tough questions? Don’t have enough Bible verses memorized? Join the club. Our God-given role as Instructor doesn’t mean we need to have a degree in theology; we just need to understand that our very lives are an object lesson God can use to tell others who He is and what He can do to set a person free. And remember what Jesus said: “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:12). Your sincerity in sharing your faith is generally more important and compelling than the number of scriptures you can recite. The knowledge of the Bible will come as you grow in the faith and study the Word, but you do not need to wait for that knowledge to manifest; rather you need to share your faith from the heart as you are learning. Tell people about how you have been forgiven through your acceptance of Jesus as your redeemer because of the price he paid for all at Golgotha.

Guys, if we can enthusiastically recommend a restaurant, a book, or a movie, surely we can strongly recommend the One who has liberated us from sin, given us a new mission in life, and the promise of enjoying life forever with Him. Let’s recommend Jesus!

  • What was the basic message Jesus wanted the formerly demon-possessed man to tell everyone?
  • If you were to tell people what the Lord has done in your life, what are some things you would want to include?
  • Praise Jesus for being worthy of sharing with everyone we meet. Thank Him for how much He has done for you and for His mercy on your life. Ask Him to give you an opportunity to share that news with someone this week.