Going and Telling

The Gospels are full to the brim of stories of the incredible healing power of Jesus’s love, many of which end in the exact same way.

In Matthew 9, Jesus restores the sight of two blind men because of their faith in Him.  Their response?  Despite Jesus’s desire to avoid celebrity status, “They went out and spread his fame all over the region.”

In Mark 5, Jesus is met by a man who is possessed by many demons.  He has become so violent that he repeatedly snaps through chains and shackles.  There happened to be a herd of pigs feeding in the distance.  The demons beg Jesus, “Send us into those pigs.  Let us enter them.”  So Jesus gives them permission.  At his command, the demons come out of the man and enter the pigs.  The whole herd plunges down a hillside into a lake and drowns.  The first response to this event?  The herdsmen flee to the nearby town to tell everyone what happened.  When the man who was demon possessed begs to go with Jesus, Jesus tells him, “No, go home to your family and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”  The man follows Jesus’s commands and begins to proclaim the great things that Jesus did for him, and all who hear are amazed.

In Luke 4, Jesus casts a demon out of a man.  The response?  “The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region.”

In John 5, Jesus heals a man who has been unable to walk for thirty-eight years.  His response?  “The man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.”

Perhaps most powerfully of all, in John 4, we hear the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.  Because of the extreme heat, women typically drew water in the early morning or evening.  The woman in this chapter lived in such shame and isolation that she went out in the noonday sun to draw water in order to avoid the community.  Although Jews normally avoided Samaria altogether by taking a different route to Galilee, Jesus purposely took the less preferred route to go through Samaria.  Upon encountering the woman, Jesus asks her for a drink, which shocks her.  “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water,” says Jesus.  As the chapter goes on, Jesus lovingly exposes the woman’s shame and makes it clear to her that He is the Messiah.  The woman’s response?  She “left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village telling everyone.”  The Samaritan woman was so transformed by Jesus’s love that she immediately dropped what she was doing and went to tell everyone about Jesus.

Although we don’t know exactly to what extent anymore, we know that Jahar is still suffering from physical injuries sustained that night in the boat, including a loss of hearing in one ear.  We can only imagine the emotional suffering he is enduring as a result of being in solitary confinement for over a year.  And unless something has drastically changed that we are yet unaware of, we know he is spiritually lost and in desperate need of Jesus.

In the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, we see that Jesus purposely goes out of His way to pursue sinners and outcasts.  Why would Jesus pursue someone like Jahar who is so full of evil, hatred, and violence?  In addition to the obvious answer of love – perhaps so Jahar can be like the people in each of these stories.  I truly believe that one day, Jahar will experience the miraculous healing power and grace of Jesus Christ – the enormity of which will inevitably elicit a response that mirrors the response of each individual in the stories above: Immediately going and telling.  Telling his family…….and if God so allows, telling other prisoners or other Muslims.  When Jesus saves any one of us, our innate desire should be to share that love with everyone we meet…….but how much more could that be true of someone who is rescued from such a grave and seemingly hopeless situation.  It is my fervent hope that one day, I will get to hear Jahar’s passionate testimony……either on Earth or in Heaven…..and that I will get to witness the multitude of lives that were reached for Jesus because He relentlessly pursued one of His beloved children.

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13 Responses to Going and Telling

  1. Bri says:

    I love that part in Mark 5 where it says, “No, go home to your family and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” I want so badly for Jahar to be able to share his testimony with his family and as a result for the entire Tsarnaev family (dreaming big) to come to Christ. What a powerful story of mercy he’ll have to tell. I hope there is some way he’ll be able to share with more than just his family. Even if he can’t, though, if he could impact his family members, they could in turn impact others. Someway I truly believe Jahar is going to be used by God for beautiful, amazing things.

    • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

      I actually originally had this story quoted from Matthew, but when I read it in Mark and Luke I knew I had to use one of those versions because of that very sentence. I pray every single day that when Jahar comes to Christ, he will be bold enough to share Him with his family – knowing how badly they need Him – in spite of the fact that they will likely disown him. Even if they do disown him – I pray it will plant a tiny seed in even one of their hearts that may grow over time.

      • Bri says:

        I just hope he realizes that what he gains in Christ is worth whatever he’d lose, even if it’s his family. I imagine it would be so hard for him to risk his family disowning him since they’re basically all he has (besides his lawyers, if they count).

      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) I sometimes pray that Jahar would open to this part in the Bible (or the same part in another gospel) because I can’t imagine how difficult that would be without knowing this.

      • Ada says:

        Yes, it’d be very difficult. When I am hesitant about living out my convictions, I like to remember the verse in Romans where we are called Christ’s adopted children. If I lose a father, I have our Father. He is the most satisfying…more than any human. It will be scary for Jahar, at least at first. All the reason for more prayer 🙂

      • Bri says:

        That’s one of those “for the future” prayers we’ve got to be praying for him frequently: that he would see Christ as the all-surpassing treasure so that he’s willing to give up anything to be His. I also pray a lot that his salvation would bring so much glory to God, that God would open doors for him to share his testimony one day, and that being able to share Christ with others will give him so much joy and a sense of purpose.

      • Ada says:

        I’m sure that God will use Jahar’s story as a testimony, even if His story does not get to ABC, Fox, etc. When you are saved, your life should be a reflection of His light. A guard might witness the change in him, his family, his friends (can he contact his friends still…I cannot remember). My heart was softened when God sent a family. This family changed my view of Christianity, and then that incident with the family I was talking about broke me!
        So I address another topic in the comments, that pain both of those families faced (the 1st had a miscarriage) was not wasted…and I thank GOD! Jahar’s pain will not be wasted! People will also see that there are so many people praying for a convicted terrorist, and hopefully they will say, “Wow, so they don’t hate him?” or something like that. God’s Power is awesome and unthinkable, so we don’t know all of His ways 🙂

      • Bri says:

        Right now Jahar can only communicate his lawyers and his family—no friends, no other inmates, no complete strangers. But you’re so right: Even if those remain the only two groups of people he is ever able to talk to, God can still use him and his story. If God were to reach even one of those people through his testimony, think of who they could reach.

        And you’re right about the impact that we might be able to have simply as those who are praying for him. Being able to share what we’re doing here gives an opportunity for spiritual conversations with those who are seeking.

  2. Ada says:

    If Christ does reach out to Jahar, I believe Jahar’s testimony will be spread if the press can get to it. Because many people believe him to be guilty, and because he’s gone through what he has, Jahar’s testimony will be dark to light. It will be amazing!

    • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

      When I really think about it, it just seems so unlikely to me with all of the restrictions they have placed on him and the efforts they have gone through to keep him away from anyone and everyone…..but He is stronger! I pray every single day for God to break down every wall and obstacle that exists and open up opportunites for Jahar to share his testimony. Can you even imagine how much glory that will bring to His name?

      • Bri says:

        As I quote all the time… Matthew 19:26: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    • Bri says:

      Yeah, at the very least, we might find out that Jahar became a Christian. Who knows how much we’d get for details. It’s too bad he probably won’t be able to share to the extent that David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam, if you’re familiar at all with famous serial killers) is able to. But you never know, God can open doors when it seems impossible for them to open.

  3. brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

    I got it! Both of them! I have to be completely honest and say I haven’t gotten a chance to read the whole thing yet cuz it’s super long! Haha. I scanned it before work but it’s been a crazy nonstop day. I will try to get to it this weekend but I have a big work event and I wanna spend time with my husband who is home for 2 days from work until he leaves again – so don’t think I’m ignoring you if I don’t reply until early next week. But I will try my hardest!

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