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Our Greatest Impact
But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, "Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:38-39

On the receiving end of God's power, love, and compassion was a man who had been held in the cruel bondage of sin and demonic oppression. How thankful he must have been to Jesus for coming and sending his tormentors fleeing like a courageous schoolmate who finally stands up to the playground bully. How relieved he must have been to at last be free, at peace, and in his right mind. What was his first response? His heart was full of love and gratitude for his Savior, and all he wanted to do was stay close to Jesus. In fact, “he was begging Him that he might accompany Him.”

Why wouldn’t Jesus let him come along? What a powerful testimony he now had. Surely he could have gone with Jesus and His disciples as living proof of Jesus’ fulfillment of the scripture: Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden…”

Many have gone and will go to the ends of the earth with the testimony of Jesus. But on whom ought my testimony of “what great things Jesus has done” have the greatest impact? Will it not be those in my house, my family, my city? In His wisdom, God has so ordered our interpersonal relationships that it is those closest to me on whom my life should have the greatest influence. They are the ones who know me best and are therefore in the position of being able to witness firsthand the power of God to transform my life. Perhaps as they marvel at how He has set this captive free, they will then begin to trust Jesus to do great things for them and beg to accompany Him. The glory of the New Covenant is that now, no matter where He sends us, we can stay with Him, for He promises, “…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)