“Should We Keep This Quiet?”

I’m often puzzled by the Lord’s instruction to those he had healed. In essence he would tell them, “keep this quiet and don’t tell anyone”…. and they went out and told everyone…… hmmmmmm.  Perhaps this is the most disobeyed command we see in the gospels. 

In Mark chapter one, he healed a leper and then “ sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; ….. but he went out and began to talk freely about it.  (Mark 1:40-45)  In Matthew chapter 9 we read that “blind men came to him and Jesus touched their eyes, …. and their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.”(Mt. 9:39-30) In Mark chapter 3 “he strictly ordered them (demons) to not make him known. (Mark 3:12) In all these cases and many more we see Jesus healing and delivering a person, telling them to not tell anyone, and they go off and cannot contain themselves, and blab it to the world. 

While Jesus had good reasons to keep things quiet, including the fact that it hindered him from continuing to minister to people due to the crowds; it does seem a bit unrealistic to think people are going to keep their mouths shut. The blind, the lame, the lepers, the demon possessed had been living lives of suffering and pain, and torment and suddenly they are free. How do you keep that quiet? Even if they tried, what can you say to those who know you. “Hey Joe, weren’t you blind for the last 30 years, what happened?”….. “Oh, no,no,no….. nothing to see here…. move along…..keep it moving…..”. How does that work? “Gee weren’t you the man possessed with demons that were trashing the neighborhood for the last 25 years… no,no,no, you must have me confused with ole Freddy from down the road….”

I think this was a “losing battle” for the Lord. His reputation was exploding. How can you keep quiet,healing and delivering, forgiveness of sins, the dead coming back to life?  “Who is this man ….. could he be the long awaited messiah, almighty God among us…. could it be that we no longer have to live in bondage to sickness and sin and death”…. how do you keep that quiet? How do you not jump up and down and raise your hands and shout. “I was blind, but now I see”.

Jesus must have known this. I don’t think he was surprised they did not follow his direction to keep their mouth shut. I don’t know; I’m probably missing something here, but I think we need to be a little bit more like the healed and delivered men and women who couldn’t keep their mouths shut. They had to tell the world, “Jesus healed me … I’m free !!!! 

Today the world is full of those caught in sin and sickness and bondage, those who are suffering terribly. They need to know that there is an answer to their pain and agony and depression and despair. Jesus will help them. Cry out to the Lord…tell Jesus “ I can’t take it anymore, life is too hard, save me Lord, show me the way, help me Jesus…my sins and sickness and sorrow are too heavy for me…..”. And when you experience his tender healing touch, his kind gaze into your eyes, his offer of salvation…… and when you say yes to his magnificent offer of salvation, then I think it’s okay to raise your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and shout to the heavens,  “I’m free, I’m free, I’m free”.

And that is the Good News…. terrific news…. the very best news.

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