One is a Good Number
Most people who have studied the Bible are familiar with the men at the tombs who were demon-possessed. If you have scrutinized the story, you know that one man had a legion of demons. They say this is equivalent to five or six thousand. That’s a lot of demons.
I flipped open my Bible one night, and it landed on one verse that I have read multiple times, but I had not heard in my spirit the fullness of its connotation until that moment.
This man at the tombs was naked–chains couldn’t hold him, and he was cutting himself.
Yes, he was a cutter, and he was crying out and screaming. This man was out of his mind, living in a graveyard for pity’s sake. Then Yeshua comes along from a boat ride with his disciples and sets him free! Oh, he is freer than he has ever been, and the Bible says that the demons went into a herd of swine and ran off a cliff. After much excitement, the townspeople came out to see what had happened. But none of this is what popped off the page, and neither is the next verse, although it is of great importance, so we will start there.
“The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened” (Luke 8:35 NASB).
Yes, this is a powerful message, but this still is not what I noticed. Instead, it was the following passage that struck me.
“But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him (Yeshua) that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:38-39 NASB).
Now, I know many men and women, for that matter, who are bent on trying to preach the Gospel to the masses as fast as they can and “save” or enlighten the whole world. Wouldn’t the Savior have done it that way? Remember, this was a day like any other day, and Yeshua chose to spend it taking a boat ride to deliver two men at the tombs who were demonized. These men owned nothing. They were not deemed high in rank to the town folk; they were out of their mind.
They were not Pharisees, High Priest, or anyone elite. If I had to assume their disposition to the townspeople, I would say they were an embarrassing, abhorrent, deranged lot that men spoke of in whispers. Don’t overlook these types of people in your assembly/synagogue/ family.
Yeshua didn’t try and fill a stadium and ‘save’ or disciple a bunch of people every day.
Each of us must work out our salvation. The Bible even adds, with fear and trembling.
Some days Yeshua fed five thousand, but on other days he fed one. At times he would deliver one person here and there.
And those people who had been so broken, so downcast, so demon-possessed, so doped up on heroin, so sexually addicted to the lust of their flesh, would tell the world about His Power.
When Yeshua sets them free, everyone takes notice, and the whole town believes! Yes, one person’s testimony makes the entire town believe. We see this again and again. Let’s look at the woman at the well. She is just one woman and one that, to get to Yeshua and His disciples, had to go into an area of town that most Jews walked twenty miles out of their way to avoid. The Jews did not want to step one foot in the area where this woman lived. This place is none other than Samaria.
Now, something that grieves my heart happens next. If something grieves you or makes you angry, watch for it, study it and try and see what The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) is trying to show you. The story of the woman at the well starts off with a topic that, yes, saddens me:
“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria” (John 4:1-4 NASB).
He said, “He must needs to go.” He had an appointment with one woman at a well that day. He did not meet with a team of ministers who were arguing over who baptized more men or saved more. No, He had a date with one woman at a well. She was nothing to most men in her day. They knew her because she had five husbands. They knew the man at the tombs because he had five thousand demons. Sometimes a woman at a well with five past husbands does not suggest that the woman was wicked, but like Tamar, whose first two husbands were struck dead due to their evil hearts, the woman may have had tragedies, not of her fault.
“From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word;” (John 4:39-41 NASB).
This woman was a great Evangelist in her town and, no doubt, her own family. She didn’t have to go away to a seminary school. She could minister right there in her city. She didn’t even know all the correct doctrine. Yeshua told her, “You Samaritan’s worship what you do not know!” But she informed the people that He was indeed The Prophet and Messiah, and the people believed.
They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”(John 4:42 NIV).
The demon-possessed man and the Samaritan woman, who had five husbands, reached a city. Yeshua only did what His Father told Him to do. He only went where He was supposed to go.
Let’s look at one more verse, and I will wrap this devotion up.
“And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you. “And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed” (Mark 5:19-20 NASB).
All the people were AMAZED! Can you disciple one today? What about those in your hometown or your own family?