It had been just a little over two and a half years since I had started working at the TV station. A friend approached me with a job unexpectedly. I was honored and shocked, to say the least. It was most certainly something to consider.
Should I stay or should I go?
Pros and cons raced through my mind as I thought of everything from the hours I was working, to the pay, to the responsibilities, to the people I worked with. Was it time to go?
After consideration, I realized, I wasn’t quite ready to leave. There were things I still had not accomplished that I had set out to do in that place. As tough as it was to let the job offer go, I knew I was where I needed to be.
Mark opens chapter 5 with an incredible event that keeps our eyes glued to the pages of scripture. They had just come across the Sea of Galilee to the other side. Remember, Jesus had told them to get in the boat because there was work for Him on the other side.
We get to meet the very one He was coming for.
As soon as they exited the boat, they were approached by a hideous man who had been living among the tombs. The remains of shackles and chains hung about him as men had tried to restrain him before, but his power was too much. The chains were broken and he was free.
But was he?
The scripture tells us that he was possessed by demons and would cry out and cut himself, harming the man that was the host for these spirits.
Immediately upon seeing Jesus, the man bows and worships Him, begging to be left alone. Jesus asks the demon his name and he responds that he is Legion, for there are many of them.
This man is filled with thousands of evil spirits. How he got that way, we do not know. But Jesus heals the man by casting the demons into a herd of swine and sending them running off a cliff into the water.
“And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” (Mark 5:18-20)
The man wanted to follow Jesus! Can you imagine? He just saved his life! He wanted to know more! He wanted to go with Him and do anything that Jesus would ask. He owed His life to Him. Wasn’t this the right thing? Wasn’t going away with Jesus the right response?
But Jesus had another plan for this man. This area was inhabited mainly by gentiles. If the man went away, a few might hear of the news, but who would believe what Jesus had done? The men who lost their pigs were angry at Jesus and begged Him to leave.
Should he stay or should he go?
Jesus urged the man to stay. Here, he would be a witness for Jesus in a great way. His family and friends had not seen the real him in years. Wouldn’t they see the true miracle and blessing that it was? And wouldn’t they, in return, share that story with others? Jesus had just begun a new mission and it began with this man in his own hometown.
He could best serve Jesus by staying right where he was.
Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself this very question lately. Should I leave this job, this school, this group, this relationship? While it always seems more exciting to leave what you know behind and go to something new, sometimes, you can best serve Jesus by staying right where you are.
Perhaps there’s someone where you are that needs to hear that Jesus loves them. Will you tell them? Or maybe there is someone who is a new believer and they need discipling, will you do it? Maybe you are the best example of Jesus they will ever see in their life. There will always be exceptional cases, such as abuse, that are definite reasons you should not stay. But when things aren’t as black and white, and decisions need to be made, what will you do?
Should you stay or should you go?
Where can you serve Jesus the most? Pray and see if He’s leading you to go or stay.