2021_05_26 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Mark 9-10
Publicity is something people pay a lot to get... everywhere we turn we are bombarded with ads, brand logos and infomercials. Businesses, celebrities, and those hoping to be famous, live to get attention. That is why something Jesus often said after miracles is puzzling. For example, Jesus trusted His three closest disciples with the experience of seeing Moses and Elijah with Jesus... and He told them to stay silent about it – “As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” Mark 9:9 (NIV) This admonition happened a lot, especially after a strong display of power. There are at least three reasons Jesus did this, and I want to thank the editors of “Hard Sayings of the Bible” for boiling these down simply.
First, on several occasions Jesus told His disciples to keep some things secret to allow the reality of what He was saying, and showing, to settle in. The concept of Messiah was significantly misunderstood, and Jesus spent a lot of time training the twelve to understand that after He was killed and resurrected it would be the time to spread the word and teach people.
Second, many times Jesus asked people He healed to keep quiet (although they didn’t always comply) because the publicity would be around the miracle, and not the message. If people know you can raise the dead, you would be invited to every funeral in the region! Jesus healed, and did the miraculous to get people to consider God, not just to ease their pain and suffering. The crowds He drew increasingly limited His work (see Mark 6:31).
Third, when dealing with people who were demonized, Jesus would quickly silence the demons. The demons, more than others, knew who He was and knew they had met their match... which was made very clear in their fearful cries to Him. Jesus probably wanted them to be silent to try and prevent more undue criticism by His enemies because the Pharisees were very fond of saying that His power to cast out demons came from Satan.
Jesus lived a very public life, and He shows us how to handle the spotlight without sacrificing our purpose, OR our soul!