Profound and Thankful Gossip!

Luke 8:38-39, NIV
Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you’. So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

A seriously deranged man, who had inhabited the graveyards of Gadara, had been wonderfully healed and delivered by Jesus. This man, who formerly had been a threat to anyone who went near, was now restored and in his right mind. Naturally he wanted to become part of Jesus’ travelling party.

But Jesus had a different message for him. Go back home and tell all the people you know how it is that you are now well. Tell them what God’s done for you. Let the good news spread. This way many more people will hear and believe the good news.

Jesus said to the man, “tell how much God has done for you.” The man told the people “how much Jesus had done for him.” He took out the word ‘God’ and put ‘Jesus’ in its place! Without realising what he was doing the former demoniac was making a profound theological statement – he was actually declaring that this man Jesus, who had healed him, must, therefore be from God! For his instinctive belief was that only God could have healed him like that. He was speaking the truth – only God had the authority to deal with the highest powers Satan could muster against humanity, and if Jesus had that authority then he can only have got it from God.

A congregation that prays for healing, and sees God at work among their people, should also be an evangelising church. The world out there needs to know the truth about God, but how will they hear unless God’s people speak out into their community what God has done? Fear often keeps people from telling the truth – they are afraid of what people will think.

My guess is that people will be more interested in hearing some outrageously good news than we realise. The church needs to let the world know that God is alive and well and Jesus is still healing people today. So, if God has done something for you, do what Jesus told the former demoniac. Don’t just keep that good news as a closely guarded secret inside a ‘holy club’ we call ‘church’. Get out there and let the world around you know. Do a bit of gossiping of the good news!

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to use every opportunity to tell others about what you have done for me. Open my eyes to see the need in others to know the truth about you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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