“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19)
Why is it so much harder to witness to family and friends than to total strangers? Often many Christians will travel overseas to share the gospel with people around the world, yet never walk across the street to share that same gospel with their neighbor.
Perhaps part of the reason for our inconsistency is because overseas mission trips often have an air of excitement, while day to day witnessing can be pretty mundane. Another reason for our silence might be the fear of conflict. “What if we offend them? What will our relationship be like afterwards?” Perhaps another reason we are sometimes hesitant to share our faith is because we are afraid that people might start watching us concerning how we live. Telling others that we are a follower of Christ involves a certain amount of accountability.
Today’s passage of scripture focuses on a miracle where Jesus cast out a multitude of demons from a maniac. Scripture says that afterwards, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to travel with Jesus. Yet Jesus told the man, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.” In other words, “First share your faith with your family and friends.”
It’s not hard to imagine the reaction of the people the first time this man strolled back into town. Many had heard of him, a number had seen him, and even a few had encountered him; but none dared to befriend him. But then the news began to spread that the man who had once lived like an animal was now clothed, sitting at the feet of a Jewish rabbi, and in his right mind. Though the man did not know one single verse of scripture, he preached a powerful message through his changed life.
I admit it, it’s often very difficult to talk with others about Christ. Just the thought of it stirs up some fear within many of us. “What if they ask me a question I don’t know? What if I offend them and they become angry? What if they sometimes see me act less than what is Christ-like?” The truth is, all of this may happen, yet we cannot let such fears cause us to stay silent. We must do just as the man did. We must tell our friends and family what the Lord had done for us.