"Legion" Meets LORD III
To be with Jesus.
In Mark 3:14 we read that Jesus chose the Twelve in order that "they might be with him." They would hang with Jesus and pick up clues and be instructed in how to live the Kingdom of God life.
We read in Mark 5: 18 that the marvelously liberated, formerly demon-possessed man wanted "to be with Jesus," too. That is, he wanted to be a disciple; a follower.
To the eager man's disappointment Jesus refuses his loyal attempt to follow and, instead, sends the man back to his Decapolis family with the directive to "tell them how much the LORD had done for you."
What we learn is this: To be with Jesus is not just a matter of proximity, but obedience. The man was closer to Jesus by obeying his directive, than if he had actually gotten into the boat with Jesus.
Sometimes our desires for contemplation, being near to Jesus, getting away and alone with God--are forms of disobedience. Why? We are under a clear directive, as well, to go and announce the Good News of the Kingdom. A spirituality that does not readily engage the unbelieving world both with compassionate deed and gracious truth is a deficient spirituality.
Obedience to Jesus is the highest form of companionship with Jesus.