by Jon M. Davis
You don’t have to go far to be a missionary.
But you do have to go. But before you start packing for a foreign land, you might want to consider a few other things first. I want to tell you the story of the Tenth Legion of Roman soldiers that were stationed in the city of Hippos, which was also known as Susita.
The Romans soldiers were stationed in this town to help control the Jews, put down any uprisings, and further the sovereignty of Rome. This town, Susita, was very advanced. It had running water and streets lined with fountains. The view from the mountain was beautiful and strategic. It was settled on the East side of the Sea of Galilee, almost directly across from Mt. Arbel. This was the place that Jesus went too after he calmed the storm in Mark 4:35-41.
When he arrived on the shore a man who was demon possessed ran up to him. This man was often bound in chains, but none could hold him. Upon meeting Jesus, he praised him and asked Jesus not to torture him. When Jesus asked him his name, he replied, “My name is Legion, because we are many.” They asked to not be cast away into the Abyss, which was another name for the Sea of Galilee. Instead, Jesus cast them into a herd of pigs, more than 2000 in fact. The pigs immediately ran down the mountain and drowned themselves in the Sea.
Everyone who saw this was amazed, especially the man that was held and released from the demons. The people were amazed but they asked Jesus to leave their town because of what they had seen. So Jesus left the city. The man begged to go with him, but Jesus told him to stay and tell everyone what he God had done for him.
That’s a great story about the power of Jesus. Here’s some really interesting information that will really add to the story. The symbol for the 10th Legion Division of the Roman Army is the Boar’s Head. Did you make that connection- pig and boar’s head? While we are making connections, the Roman name for a great big army was a Legion- what was the demon’s name in the man? That’s right, his name was Legion.
Think about this story. Has God done some great things in your life right where you are? Why would you want to leave that place? I am the first to support spreading the good news but what an impact this man could have on the people that knew him. They watched him break chains, literally, and act like a crazy man. They all knew him, and they watched him transition right before their eyes.
Most Americans probably work too much. Because of this, we are around people at work more than our own families. What kind of an impact could you make by “staying” where you are and impacting lives for Christ? These people know almost every flaw that you have. So why not show them what grace and forgiveness can do in the life of a flawed man or woman?
Jesus healed a man with many demons inside of him, and then told the man to stay right where he was. Can you imagine how badly the man wanted to “go” with Jesus? I am sure that Jesus loved this man, but he needed him to stay and do his job- tell others about Jesus.
So, are you in a place where God wants you to stay? Has he changed you for the specific purpose of telling those that you see everyday how great your God is? Do you look for ways to tell others about Jesus? Why not today and everyday after that?
I believe that today in the United States, the single greatest mission field (outside of our own homes) is the work place. This is the place where world views collide. This is the Shephelah for each of us. Relationships are already built and established at work. Now it’s time to tell your story. I pray that every one of you get’s the opportunity to tell your story this next week.
So “go” to work!
By the way you can read this story in Mark 5:1-20 in the Bible.