31 July 2009

Tell No Man – 7.31.09

Matthew 9:28-31 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

On the surface, it seems strange that Jesus would tell the blind men He just healed not to tell anybody about it. But as you read the gospels, you find that this was His common practice. He gave the same charge to the cleansed leper (Matthew 8:4; Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14); the healed multitude (Matthew 12:16; Mark 3:12); His disciples (Matthew 16:20; Mark 8:30; Luke 9:21); Peter, James, and John following the transfiguration (Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9); and the family of Jairus after the healing of his daughter (Mark 5:43; Luke 8:56). [One notable exception would be the maniac of Gadara (Mark 5:19; Luke 8:39).]

There are actually several good reasons for Jesus' doing so. These 4 are listed by Dake in his reference Bible:

1. He did not want to set forth His claim to Messiah-ship this early in His ministry and hasten the controversy He knew that His works would cause. Even later He forbade His disciples to make it known (Matthew 16:13-20). He made no public claim of it at first, but simply did the works that the prophets had predicted the Messiah would do (Matthew 11:1-6).

2. He wanted people to fulfill the law and offer the testimony that Moses commanded in such cases (Leviticus 14:4-22). In each case it would have to be known to the priests how one was cleansed and this should be sufficient proof of His Messiah-ship to the priests. The Jewish rabbis taught that cleansing lepers should be characteristic of the Messiah, so His very works proved it before He was forced by opposition to make such claim for Himself.

3. He wanted to shun popularity and human acclaim and the evil effects of mob clamor to make Him King. When this did happen He got away from it all (John 6:15-21).

4. Jesus set an example of putting healings to the test before testimony is given for them. Any real healing will stand any kind of test. Any person maintaining he is healed when he is not is unscriptural.

In addition to this, Bro. James gave us this note on John 2:24-25 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. The fact of the matter was that He couldn't trust these people to represent Him properly – because unlike us, they didn't have the indwelling Holy Spirit (yet). Remember when He gave the Great Commission to the apostles, He also commanded them to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8).

Now, what's amazing about all this is the fact that in every case the persons healed and instructed not to spread it abroad just couldn't help themselves. They jumped over Jesus' command to keep it quiet in order to go tell people what He had done for them.

On the other hand is us. What Jesus has done for us (save our souls) is so much better than what Jesus did for them (heal their bodies). We have the Holy Spirit; they didn't. We have a command to tell; they had a command not to tell. They couldn't keep quiet about it; we can't seem to get motivated enough to tell hardly anybody. Brethren, it seems as if we just really don't appreciate what Jesus has done for us like we should.

Mark 5:19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

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