FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
THE FIRST MISSIONARY
January 30, 2017
Today’s gospel: Mark 5:1-20
Who was the first missionary? It might surprise you, but it was the Gerasene demoniac. Healed by Jesus, “the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him” (v.20a).
The demoniac “had an unclean spirit” (v.2b). No, that is too mild. He was infested with unclean spirits! One of these said to Jesus, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” (v.9b). How terrifying! The demoniac was also an outcast from society, and “had been dwelling among the tombs” (v.3a). Not a person you would invite to a party.
But the demoniac had a life-changing encounter with Jesus. It caused a 180-degree turn. He was transformed from being filthy and bruised to “sitting there clothed and in his right mind.” (v.15b). What does this say to us? If God can use a person such as the Gerasene demoniac, then God can certainly use any of us.
So what is needed to become a missionary for Christ? Is it holiness? Is it great knowledge of the Bible? Is it wide secular influence on others? It is none of those (though those can be helpful). It happens simply by the grace of God and the anointing of the Spirit.
Encounter Jesus, be transformed by him, and then “go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” (v.19b).
* * *