January 30: Following Jesus

Have you ever noticed the number of times that Jesus, in His public ministry, heals a person or works another type of miracle, and then says something like “Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in His mercy has done for you.” This is, more often than not, Jesus’ response to those who have been healed and then express a desire to follow Him. Again, “Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.”

One such example of this phenomenon is found in Mark 5, 1-20. A man, who was possessed by several demons, was absolutely uncontrollable, and Jesus healed him and set him free. As fits the pattern, the man asked to follow Jesus, but He told him to return to his family and offer a fitting testimony to them about God’s goodness. In doing so, here and elsewhere, Jesus is saying that there is “another kind of following,” “another kind of discipleship.” Not everyone needs to be in Jesus’ presence, joining the growing crowd of disciples who witness the day-to-day ministry of the Lord, and offering testimony far and wide.

Some of us think that “following Jesus” means spending a lot of time “with Jesus” in religious activities or joining the priesthood or religious life. For most of us, however, our calling and our “following of Jesus” takes place right where we are. It is there that we need to share with others our experience of knowing Jesus and being loved by Him. Think about the implications of this: we won’t even have to leave home today to tell others what Jesus means in our lives. And, like the people in Mark 5, 1-20, they may be amazed!

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