But Jesus sent him (the demoniac) home, saying, “go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.”Luke 8:32-33
Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.Luke 8:56
I repeat again the list of the stories in the gospels where people were either told “to tell” or “not to tell”.
- Matt 8:4 / Mark 1:44 – a man with leprosy “Don’t tell anyone about this.
- Matt 9:30 – two blind men “Don’t tell anyone about this.”
- Mark 5:43 / Luke 8:56 – the 12 yr old girl – Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened
- Mark 7:32, 36 A deaf man with a speech impediment – Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone
- Luke 5:12, 14 a man with an advanced case of leprosy – Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened
- Mar 5:19 the demon-possessed man – Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything
- Luk 8:39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.
Did you notice something from the raw material I listed for you in the last Gem? My general reading of the New Testament up until now has left me with the impression that there were occasions when Jesus told recipients not to tell and times when He told them to say something. But on looking at the detail, especially the detail following healings or deliverances, the basic default mode was to tell them not to say anything. There is only one occasion when Jesus tells someone to tell what happened as opposed not to tell and that is with the demoniac. That surprised me. The demoniac is the only one Jesus tells to spread the news. All the others are told not to say anything, Many times in circumstances like the parents of the twelve year old girl where it is clear that the story is going to be broadcast anyway by the others who were present, those involved are told not to tell. It is clear this will happen given human nature. There is very little likelihood that the story will be limited to the small circle who actually know the facts. The crowds were too big for the event to be kept out of the “headline news”.
- So why this one difference in the case of the demoniac?
- Why does Jesus want to limit the news in all the other cases?
I suspect in the case of demoniac the news was already being told by people whose motives were not pure. Their sole purpose appeared to be related to their material wealth and the loss they had sustained as they saw it. So in the end Jesus was driven away from that region. As I told you in Gem 887, it was a strange reaction for a miracle so great. Here is a man who everyone knew and who had been threatening the safety of all those around the region and he has been delivered of his demons. But the only thing the people can think about is the loss they have incurred. How sad! So the story that was being spread around was related to the losses they might sustain if Jesus hung around that region. Like I said at the time they chose their swine over the Saviour. What a sad choice! So Jesus tells the man “Go tell your family”. It is almost like he said “go tell your family the truth”. But of course he can’t keep it to himself and tells his story wherever he goes. Furthermore, this is the first time Jesus has been in this region. The crowds don’t follow Him as they did on the other side of the lake. So the links to Messiah are not being made yet.
I believe the reason Jesus’ default mode in advising people to tell or not tell is the latter, don’t tell, has to do with the false awareness of Who He is. As the awareness grows the crowd wants to crown Jesus as king. The reason for this is there are two concepts of Messiah from a Biblical perspective. Two strands that run through the Scripture: Messiah, the son of David and Messiah the son of Joseph. Messiah the son of David is the reigning ruling Kingly Messiah. Messiah, the son of Joseph is the Suffering Servant persona. If you ponder on this for a while you will realize these two personas relate to the two different occasions Christ comes. His First Coming was as the Suffering Servant, coming to die. His Second Coming will be as the reigning King. Jesus keeps stressing the point that it was not His time yet. The full disclosure of the nature of Who He is and why He has come is not yet. Hence He continually limits the media fallout. The crowd continually want to take Him and make Him king. Partly because they see in the Messianic prophecy the “reigning king” link but maybe more to the point they want freedom of oppression, mainly from Roman rule. They perceive This is One who will accomplish that. How wrong they were. He came the first time for an entirely different purpose altogether.
Hence Jesus sets the record straight in the case of the demoniac and allows him to tell his family and address the spin on the story which those with vested interest had put on the events. In the case of Messiahship, the timing is not yet. Wait, my time has not yet come. John makes continued reference to this theme as I have commented on already. (Gem 79 among others). Hence the theme of not broadcasting this news, especially when it is purely focused on the miraculous acts and not the deeper meaning behind them. This is like a flash-back to the notion of (the people of) Israel knowing His acts but Moses knowing His ways.
Which are you? One of those who looks at the miracles from a sensationalist perspective or one who searches for the deeper meaning?
Enough said.. Next Gem we will look at the woman with the bleeding problem and following that I will take a break from Gems for two weeks. It is time for me to play with my grandchildren. If you want it in biblical terms, time to suffer the little children to come unto me. Let me assure you there will be no suffering on my part, in spirit at least. Maybe bodily there will. The Moore family, Riss, Josh, Jaeden, Vaeh and Kyla arrive tomorrow and spend two weeks with us here in Jakarta living in the penthouse at the top of our tower, courtesy of our church, JPCC. It’s party time. Not many things have been able to halt Gems since I have been doing them, but this is one thing that has the power. The next Gem will be the last for a fortnight. I will resume again after they have flown back to NZ.
Advice for those of you who are Gem addicts when you face a Gemless time . . . either look back in review and go back over what you haven’t had time to fully comprehend or look ahead to what is to come and do some of you own digging before we start the new stuff. Test your ability to dig for yourself.
For me now, the time is coming when no one should work, it’s time to play! I know I am misquoting Scripture but it is called poetic license. See you back here tomorrow and after that it is time out.
Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something & you don’t talk back.W K Hope
Live so the preacher won’t have to tell lies at your funeral.Anon
The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.Anon
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees & flowers & clouds & stars.Martin Luther
Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.Francis of Assisi
Every time you share your faith it grows.Rick Warren
The gospel, something good happening to bad people. Tell someone!Andy Stanley