SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Don’t Tell Anyone!
by Dave Mann
Can you believe it? Jesus performs a spectacular miracle by immediately cleansing a leper, and then he tells the leper not to tell anyone about it! What’s this all about? I thought we were supposed to share the good news with others, especially good news about Jesus. And this is not the sole time that Jesus gives such a command. All throughout Mark’s gospel we read about Jesus telling people whom he has healed that they are not to tell anyone. But most of the time, these people do not obey this crazy instruction. They tell others about Jesus all the more. Jesus ends up having to hide out in remote places so that he can get some peace and quiet, some rest and prayer time.
What is the reason that Jesus gives such a counter-intuitive order? Because he knows that people will proclaim the wrong message about his identity and his purpose for coming to the world. It’s clear throughout the gospels that people come to Jesus (including his own specially chosen disciples) with all manner of misconceptions. Jesus is a:
Doctor - the guy who can cure every disease
Rebel – the guy who can organize a revolt against the Romans and rule
Evil spirit chaser – the guy who can cast out evil spirits
Weather tamer – the guy who can control wind and waves
Feeder – the guy who can multiply food to feed a crowd
And even if some aspects of the above were part of Jesus’ mission on earth, there is a right time and many wrong times to speak the truth.
Sneak preview! Spoiler alert! In the end, Jesus does clearly reveal his purpose, when it is the right time. Check out Mark 14:60-65. When he was nearly at the point of providing himself as the ultimate sacrifice for sin, Jesus is interrogated by the Council. At this, the right time, Jesus finally openly reveals his identity, his purpose, and his future glory. Make no mistake, eventually, Jesus does speak very clearly, and in such a way that his words guarantee that he will be thrust forward to the Cross.
Lord Jesus, help me to know the right time to speak about you. And when that time comes, let me do it with the power and confidence of your Holy Spirit. Inspire me to live, speak, and pray in Jesus’ name. Amen