Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Mark 5:19
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” Those unforgettable lines spoken by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz reveal a story-telling device found in an overwhelming number of our most enduring stories from the likes of Star Wars to The Lion King. It’s known as “the hero’s journey.” In brief: an ordinary person is living an ordinary life when an extraordinary adventure is presented. The character leaves home and travels to a different world where tests and trials await, as well as mentors and villains. If she or he passes the tests and proves heroic, then the final stage is returning home with stories to tell and wisdom gained. The last piece is crucial.
The story of the demon-possessed man closely parallels the hero’s journey. It’s interesting that in last scene the man begged Jesus to let him “go with him” (Mark 5:18). Yet Jesus told him: “Go home to your own people” (v. 19). It was important in this man’s journey to return home to the people who knew him best and to tell them his amazing story.
God calls each of us in different ways and to different scenarios. But for some of us, it can be crucial for our faith journey to go home and tell our story to those who know us best. For some of us, the call is “there’s no place like home.”
Who comes to mind that needs to hear what God has done for you? What does the first step in that journey look like?
Jesus, give me the courage to tell of Your wonderful works. Not just to strangers, but also to those who know me best—those at home.
Today’s story in Mark 5:11–20 is an example of how the gospel writers used storytelling. This account of the demon-possessed man is full of surprises and unexpected twists, all of which not only move the reader forward but help to underline the power and impact of Jesus’ actions. Consider the reactions of the crowd to His miracle of driving the legion of demons from the man living in the tombs. It isn’t the drowning of the thousands of pigs to which the people react; their focus is on the once-wild man now sitting clothed and in his right mind. Yet instead of being wowed by his recovery, they’re afraid of the man with the power to do what their chains couldn’t. Instead of rejoicing with the one who was set free, they’re afraid of the One with the power to heal him and can only ask for Him to leave.