Before & After

Before & After

Christians’ testimonies of their lives before and after they find Jesus are effective tools for showing others the power of the gospel. A great example of this is the demon-possessed man in Mark 5. In this article we will look at how this man looked before and after finding Jesus, and what Jesus tells him to do after finding Him.


“And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.” — Mark 5.4-5

This man is clearly in agony before he finds Jesus. The demon that possesses him is causing so much pain and uncontrollable behavior that no one is able to tame him. Although this is an extreme example, for many it is relatable. Often, people who have not found Jesus yet seek comfort that they will not find anywhere else. Some will turn to self-harming habits in an attempt to comfort themselves. They cry out from their pain night and day, but no one comes to help because they believe the person cannot be helped. I have never seen a man with an unclean spirit, but I have seen plenty of people that have lived in such a way that it appears they cannot be helped. Even when a life appears to be controlled by sin and addiction, turning to Jesus or turning back to Jesus will change everything. Everything changes for the demon-possessed man in Mark 5 when he finds Jesus.


“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. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed…” – Mark 5.15-16

It is noticeable to everyone that the man is completely different after finding Jesus. Although the man is now in his right mind, seeing such a drastic change makes the people afraid. The people realize that such a change must mean that whoever caused it is extremely powerful. Yet instead of being drawn to Jesus, the people want Him to leave. Their response is contrasted by the formerly demon-possessed man who begs Jesus to stay with Him. The desire to stay with Jesus is a fitting response to being saved, but Jesus has a job for him.

What Now?

“However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘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.’ And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.” – Mark 5.19-20

It seems odd that Jesus would not permit the man to stay with Him, until we remember that there are so many people who have not found Jesus. His friends are likely not in as bad of shape as he was, but they still need to know what the Lord is capable of and the compassion He has for His people. What could be a better way of sharing this than by showing how different he is after finding Jesus? As much as we would like to emerge from the waters of baptism and already be in heaven with Jesus, there is still a job for us to do on earth. As strong as our desire is to be with Jesus, we should have a similar desire for helping others find Him so they can share in our desire to be with Jesus one day.

– William Speer