To Witness or Not to Witness? by Daniel Rodgers

To Witness or Not to Witness?
Dan Rodgers
Mark 1:40-45

Our next passage is found in Mark 5:19, 20. In this story, we have the account of the Maniac of Gadara and his deliverance by Jesus. In Mark 5:19-20, the Bible says, "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. [20] And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."

INTRODUCTION: Here, we have two separate stories. On the one hand, Jesus healed the leper, and then told him not to go back into the town nor tell anyone about what had taken place. But he did tell, and he did go back into the town, sharing with everyone, what Jesus had done.

In the second story, following his deliverance, Jesus tells this man to go home and tell his friends what he had done. The Bible says, "And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."

So, the question is; why, on one hand, did the Lord tell one to witness and share his story, and the other one was told not to tell anyone?

In the first case, we can see from the story itself that this man's witness drew great crowds to Jesus. As a result, He was not able to perform His ministry and was forced to leave the area: "But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter."

In the second case, Jesus would leave the area, boarding a ship for the other side of the lake (Mark 5:21). Before leaving, He told the man who was healed to go and tell all his friends about what had taken place.

So, then, in the first account, Jesus would be limited because of the stir He had caused and the crowds He drew. In the other account, Jesus wanted the story to ...


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