Your greatest mission field is right where you are.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 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.” Mark 5:18-19
Imagine publicly declaring “Jesus, I will leave everything and follow You to the ends of the earth”, only for Jesus to tell you to “Go home!”
Jesus had told the disciples, “Come follow me.”
And he had told the Rich Young Ruler, “Sell everything and follow me.”
But to the bright-eyed, enthusiastic convert in Mark 5 he said: “Go home”.
Talk about heaven raining on the man’s parade!
Can you imagine how deflated he must have felt?
This man, having been gloriously set free from demons, was now full of passion and zeal to serve God. He was desperate to do something to repay his Saviour. He was ready to go to the ends of the earth, if necessary, for the sake of the Gospel.
While Peter ended up in Rome and while John travelled to Greece, the former demoniac trudged back down the well-worn path to … home.
Yet far from a rejection, “Go home” was a vote of confidence.
Anyone can preach in a far-flung place, jetting in to share the Gospel and flying straight out.
But at home you must live the sermon. At home you are the message.
The greatest preachers are not those who have flown into exotic locations but those who have woken up in the same bed, gone to the same workplace and returned to the same house — day after day, week after week, year after year — allowing those closest to observe the difference God’s grace has made.
And far from rejection, “Go home” was a strategic assignment.
Who better to observe the change in the man’s life than those who knew him best? His testimony was always going to be most powerful with those who could compare and contrast who he had been with who he now was.
People in a faraway country don’t know you, so your witness to them is just words. But people at home know the good, the bad and, yes, the ugly you. Their familiarity with your past is what makes your present state such a powerful witness. They can see firsthand the result of God’s grace.
“Go home” was not rejection. It was an invitation to preach the most potent kind of sermon.
It’s tempting to tell other people what they must do. But you cannot do that so easily at home where the people who know you best will feel the most comfortable telling you to “shut up”.
“Who are you to preach us to? We know you!” they may well say.
This is why Jesus instructed the man to “tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Notice that when you preach at home, you are not telling others what they must do, and nor are you telling people what you have done. At home you only tell what God has done for you.
And this is the most potent sermon, since it contains no boast, except in the Lord. And it allows for no argument since it is your experience, of which you are living proof.
If you would change the world for Jesus, first “Go home” and tell how God has had mercy on you.
Father, thank You for the incredible mercy You have shown me. I would be nowhere without Your grace in my life. Help me to share with those closest to me, not how good I am, but how good You have been to me. And I pray the change in my life might soften their heart to seek after You too.
Prayer Points for May 2021
1. Pray for Revival and Transformation for Australia
2. Pray for 1 Billion people worldwide to hear the Gospel
3. Share the Good News of Jesus with 5 people
James Macpherson is a sought-after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier-Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. He is a regular contributor to The Spectator and Daily Declaration.
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