Recap from Tuesday
If you remember from Tuesday’s reading, we talked about the “Pattern of Influence” found in scripture: (Here’s the example we see in scripture)
- Your Family
- Your Community
- Your Church
I mentioned in that reading that you would have to wait till today in order to see how the demon possessed man’s “Pattern of Influence” ends. So here’s some context to set you up.
Mark 5:18-20 (NLT) 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.
So the instruction to the Demon Possessed Man were simple: Go home to your family, tell them what I’ve done. Unfortunately this is not what the man does. Instead, he begins to travel around the Decapolis (Ten Cities) sharing what Jesus had done for him. So the Demon Possessed Man’s Pattern of Influence looks like this:
- You = Demon Possessed Man (v. 2)
- Your Family = Instructed to back and tell his family (v. 19)
- Your Community = Travels around to the Ten Cities (v. 20)
- Your Church (see below)
Here in Chapter 7 we see the magnitude of the Demon Possessed Man’s influence. We pick up the story right at the tale end of Jesus healing a local deaf man.
Mark 7:36-37 (NLT) 36 Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. 37 They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”
Wait! What? These people are declaring that “Everything he [Jesus] does is wonderful?” This may seem like a common statement until you look at where Jesus was when they said this.
Mark 7:31-32 (NLT) 31 Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns. 32 A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him.
The first time Jesus went to this region he was asked to leave! Mark 5:17 says, “And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.” Now there’s not asking him to leave, they’re praising literally everything he does! We need to ask ourselves, what happened, why the change?
The changed happened because the Demon Possessed Man was still possessed, but this time it was by the Spirit of Jesus! The scripture indicates that he, “started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them (Mark 5:20).” It’s true! They were so amazed that the next time Jesus showed up they were ready to experience his glory! The power of one voice, one testimony, and one transformed life, opened up the door to an entire region to do a complete 180°!
I understand that there’s a lot of great content in the seventh chapter of Mark (ritual laws, food issues, defilement…etc), but my hope is to not loose the magnitude of this particular revelation.
Do your words or your testimony have the power to prepare they way for God’s Spirit to move in people? Have you gotten so far away from your salvation that you stopped sharing the power of what God did in you? Be challenged today to recognize your own Pattern of Influence in the world around you!