"As He (Jesus) was getting in the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, 'Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.' And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed." Mark 5:18-20 (NASB)
If you are like me, you have stood in the crowd looking in on the action, hoping you could be part of the fun. Whether watching the starting line-up play while you sit the bench, or watching your best friend going to prom while you stay home, we all like to be in on "what's happening."
In my last year as a WVU wrestler, I was behind two "All Americans." I often thought, "What's the use of continuing," but instead of quitting, I decided that my teammates needed me to stay. I knew they needed someone to push them in practices and to be ready in case one of them became hurt. It wasn't fun watching them wrestle under the lights in the Coliseum while I sat in the stands, but I was content knowing I was part of something bigger than myself. I had learned when they won, we all won.
The man in our story who was delivered from demon possession by Jesus was no different than most of us. After experiencing Jesus power and love, he wanted to be a part of Jesus' disciples. He wanted to follow, he wanted to be part of Jesus' daily ministry, but that wasn't Jesus' plan. Jesus had other plans. Jesus wanted this man, who's life was now a testimony to Jesus' love and strength, to tell his family and community what Jesus had done for him.
I'm sure, initially, he didn't understand why Jesus wouldn't let him follow, but in time he would. All he had to do was obey, and we are all the benefactors of his obedience almost 2,000 years later. Because of his obedience to Jesus, his community would hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and be amazed. Because he listened to Jesus, many others would have the opportunity to be saved.
You may not like where Jesus currently has you, or even understand at times, but no matter where you are in life, He has called you to tell those around you what He has done for you. Pray for God to help you obey and live out His life and to have the boldness to speak of who He is and what He has done. You might be surprised at who becomes amazed.