(page 15 of Standard Edition)
Read Mark 5:15–20. Why do you think Jesus sent the man into
Decapolis to witness to his family and friends rather than nurtur-
ing him in his newfound faith by keeping him with Himself?
The word Decapolis comes from two words: deca, meaning ten, and
polis, meaning city. The region of Decapolis was an area of ten cities
along the shores of the Sea of Galilee in the first century. These cities
were bound together by a common language and culture. The demoniac
was known by many people in that region. He had struck fear into their
hearts through his unpredictable, violent behavior. Jesus saw in him one
who longed for something better, and so He miraculously delivered the
man from the demons that tormented him.
When the townspeople heard that Jesus had permitted the demons to
possess their herd of swine, and that the swine had run over a cliff into
the sea, they came out to see what was taking place. Mark’s Gospel
records, “Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been
demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right
mind. And they were afraid” (Mark 5:15, NKJV). The man was whole
again—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The essence
of the gospel is to restore people broken by sin to the wholeness for
which Christ has created them.
What better person to reach these ten cities of Decapolis than a trans-
formed demoniac who could share his testimony with the entire region?
Ellen G. White states it well: “As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell
what we know, what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt. If we
have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right
to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us. We can
tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We
can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is
the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world
is perishing.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 340. God often uses unlikely wit-
nesses who are changed by His grace to make a difference in our world.
What’s your own story—that is, your own conversion story?
What do you tell others about how you came to faith? What can
you offer someone unconverted, who could benefit from the expe-
rience you can share?