Sunday night, my pastor continued his verse by verse exposition of Matthew. Coming upon Matthew 9, we arrived at a particularly interesting verse:
(Matthew 9:30-31 ESV) 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.
I found another like it as well:
(Mark 7:36 ESV) 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
The part that I find interesting is that Jesus commanded them to tell no one. My pastor asked the question in his sermon: He healed them and then told them not to tell anyone and yet they did. Why?
Why did Jesus command them to tell no one, particularly if you consider that from God’s perspective, he absolutely knew they would tell people?
My pastor said that he wan’t entirely sure why, and hadn’t personally read a satisfactory answer in any commentary. What he did say, and I agree with, is that it was sin for these men to spread his name at all, let alone zealously because it violated a direct command. Here is my idea, for what it’s worth to answer the question.
What if, knowing that these men would spread his fame, Jesus commanded them not to in order that he might use this story to teach us how pathetically we are obeying the very opposite command today? I don’t mean in a condemning (Romans 8:1) fashion, but rather, as a disciplinary measure to bring a sense of uneasiness to us in order that we may become resolved to do better going forward for His sake?
Think about it. Here are a handful of men, mostly lower class citizens who – contrary to the Lord’s command – have made him famous in the land, zealously spreading news of what He has done for them.
And here I sit in 2013: Far more has been done for me, for he did not only heal me physically, he made me (the blind man) to see spiritually and he eradicated my deafness (to His Word), bringing about eternal life for my soul. Then, he clearly commands me to go and preach the gospel (the good news) that Jesus saves to all people.
I hardly think I could be accused of making him famous or being zealous to proclaim him; yet these men did just that. It brings to me a sense of unholiness, in fact, about how little I’ve done for him, after all he’s done for me. How about you? What feeling does it conjure?
Thanks be to God for His infinite grace and mercy. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.