As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. (Mark 5:18-20)
Not everyone gets to sit on the front row. Jesus had many followers besides the twelve apostles. There were both men and women following him all over the countryside. Crowds gathered everywhere he went. There were the seventy that Jesus sent out to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom. After his resurrection, a hundred twenty gathered at the time of Pentecost. There was more than one person who could take the place of Judas: all those many followers who had been with Jesus from the time of John’s baptism until his resurrection. But most of those first followers go unnamed in the Bible. Even of the twelve apostles, one third of them are no more than a name in a list.
When Jesus healed a man filled with demons who called themselves “Legion,” Jesus refused to let him come along with him. How come? Was Jesus’ boat overloaded? Not at all. Jesus had a job that only that formerly possessed man could do. Jesus told him to return home and tell the people he knew about what Jesus had done for him. Like the seventy, Jesus was sending this man off to proclaim the news of the Kingdom.
Jesus has many jobs for his people. Some will go to foreign lands as missionaries. Some will become pastors in small churches. Some will be husbands, some will be wives, some will work in factories, some will be fire fighters, doctors, nurses, clerks, lawyers, engineers, bankers, or soldiers. God has a role for you in this life that only you can do. And when people hear what Jesus has done for you, they will be amazed.