Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you. (Mark 5:19)

There were three requests made in Mark chapter 5:

—The demons requested to be sent into the swine (v. 12)

—The people asked the Lord to leave their region (v. 17)

—The man who had been demon-possessed requested to follow the Lord (v. 18)

The first two requests were granted, but not the third.

The Lord was free to send the demons into the pigs, or to any other place He might choose. Why to the swine? First, it proved to those watching that the man had really been freed from the demons, and assured the man himself that the demons had actually departed from him. Most importantly, the drowning of two thousand pigs demonstrated the power of Satan, and showed that to him man and swine are the same.

The owners of the pigs asked the Lord to leave, rather than stay and perform more miracles and healings, because they only cared about their business. The Lord departed, for He would not impose Himself on anyone, and would not stay in a place where He was not welcome.

The Lord did not permit the man to accompany Him because He knew that this man belonged to his city and people, where he could be a testimony for the One who had saved him. Effective Christian testimony must start in the place where we live. From there the Lord may expand our area of influence.

William S. Ibrahim

How happy the man whose heart is set free,
The people that can be joyful in Thee!
Their joy is to walk in the light of Thy face,
And ever to talk of Thy mercy and grace.

Charles Wesley