For many years, as I’ve read through parts of the Gospels, I’ve been confused by a certain action of Jesus’. Let’s look at Mark 7: 31-36.
Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
My immediate reaction is
Why would Jesus command people to tell no one?
In Luke 7: 18-23, John the Baptist asks Jesus from prison if He is the Messiah. Jesus doesn’t say “What the heck, John? I thought you knew I was the Messiah!” Instead, He says to John’s followers
Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.
Why Doesn’t Jesus give a straight answer?
The ESV Study Bible suggests that Jesus’ command to not tell anyone about the miracles is because He didn’t want people to follow Him only because of the miracles he performed. That makes sense to me but I want to look at it from a slightly different angle.
Personally, I wonder if Jesus wants people to come to their own conclusion about Him.
Think back to when you were in grade school and you couldn’t remember how to spell a word (it still happens to me, dang it). To resolve the issue, you may have asked a parent how to spell it. And what did they say?
“How do you think you spell it, Caleb?”
I suspect your parents didn’t use my name unless you and I have the same name in which case, that is awesome. My point is this: If I could spell the word correctly, it was more likely I would remember how to spell it correctly in the future.
Your own conclusions
When Jesus doesn’t give straight answers in the Gospels, I wonder if He’s trying to get people to come to their own conclusions about Him (of course, within the context of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives). I think that when people come to their own conclusions about Jesus being the Savior of the World, it gives them much more clarity and strength in their spiritual lives.
When I was growing up, I was a true believer in Christ and what He did for me on the cross. I went to church because that’s where my parents took me every week. When I hit college and spent much more time away from home, my parents, and my comfort zone, that was when I really took my faith as my own. Yes, I was a Christian before that.
However, I see that as the time when I came to my own conclusions about Jesus.
It was when I really took my faith to be my own. It wasn’t just what my parents believed. It was my belief and I believe that was something that caused my faith to increase. I owned it and it helped solidify my faith in Christ for when I entered the real world.
Why do you think Jesus doesn’t give a straight answer?
I honestly want to hear what you think in the comments below! What conclusions have you come to about Jesus?
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