Journal Matt 9 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”

 

When (Jesus) entered the house, the blind men came to him.  And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.

 

And Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about it.”

 

But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.”  (Matt 9:27-31)

 

Observation:  I wonder what happened when Jesus’ stern warning was ignored?  Were there consequences?

 

Analysis:  I think about statements like this.  Why would Jesus say: “Don’t tell anyone.  Yes, I know it is a miracle, a wonder, and all that…but I don’t want any talk about it.”  He does that a few times in the Gospels, and it is still puzzling.  The only close reason He gives is to his disciples. Jesus’s disciples said to Jesus, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing.  For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”  (for not even (Jesus’) brothers believed in him.)  “Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come…” (John 7:2-6a)

 

What would I do?  Would I seek to “be known?”  Expand my “ministry”?  Gather thousands of followers?  You bet I would – I would certainly think and consider it.

 

I remember the debriefing after one of the Disciples training missions: “How did you do, guys?”  “You wouldn’t believe it”, they gushed.  “Healing, casting out demons, and all that.  Everything obeyed our word and preaching.  Repentance all around!!  We are STOKED!!”  Jesus said, “All good, but don’t take yourself seriously.  Be glad that your names are written in the Book of Life.”

 

So, I see where Jesus told a couple of formerly blind guys, “Shush”, and on top of that did it sternly (syn. harshly, firmly, severely, strictly – not kindly or persuasively, but with command).  Furthermore, there are other examples in the Scriptures – this wasn’t a “one off” situation.

 

What did these guys think?  “This is too cool.  I was blind, now I see…”  “But he said to keep it to ourselves….”  “I can’t keep my mouth shut, even for him.  He’ll get over it when the crowds start to surround him.” – which is maybe exactly what Jesus didn’t want at this time.

 

What would I want and do?  Would I be like my Master and lay my hands on someone for healing in secret and ask the person “keep this to yourself, go show your spouse and your pastor only.”  Or would I burnish my nails on my shirt, thinking “Yeah, I’m the man appointed by God for this.”  What if I am preaching and one hundred folks repent and ask to be baptized – tongues of fire and the whole nine yards?  How would I respond?

 

I have to ask myself these things because there will be a test…

 

PS.: Notice in the scripture quote about the two blind guys?  They followed Jesus in the house.  How did they do that?

 

Prayer: Lord, straighten this out for me, please.  I think this has to do with serving in secret and not being anywhere close to being a Pharisee.

 

I want to remember that it is Your Glory, not mine, to be shouted to the world.  Your kingdom alone!!

 

David said: “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Ps 84:10)  No fame, just a servant.

 

AMEN

Rick Sutton