D. Norman Easter
At first the command in the following passage seems strange to us:
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter (Mark 1:40-45).
“See thou say nothing to any man.” That command seems strange to us. It must have seemed strange to the man healed of leprosy, perhaps even more than to us. If we were in the grateful shoes of the leprous man, we too would want to tell everyone about what Jesus did for us. That is exactly what he did, he “blazed abroad the matter.”
When the Lord gives a command, He has a reason. We may not always understand His reason, but His ways are far beyond our ways. His wisdom is infinitely above our wisdom. In his good intention, the healed man hindered the work of our Lord. The sin of presumption is an ugly sin, however well intended. Presumption comes from an inflated, selfish ego that says, “I know better even than the Lord.” When the Lord says, “Don’t,” He has a reason. “Don’t meddle in other men’s affairs” (1 Peter 4:15) is a good command. How often well meaning people have presumed to act when they were asked not to do so, only to cause hurt or disruption or extra work for someone else.
As the result of this well intended man’s presumptuous disobedience the ministry of Jesus was hindered.. Everywhere Jesus went the people thronged Him to be healed of their maladies. They did not come to hear His message. They came to use him. They wanted to get something from him for their own selfish purposes. Jesus did not come into the world to heal all of the physically sick or to solve all of the political and economic woes of this world. He came to bring eternal salvation. His mission involving eternity was so much greater than earthly misfortunes.
The twist of the matter is this. When the Lord said, “Be quiet.” “Don’t tell any one.” The word was “blazed abroad,” immediately. Yet, When Jesus tells man to spread the good news of the Gospel to “every creature.” Most of the people become mute. If out of His compassion, the Lord promised to bless us monetarily at each service we attended, but warned us to tell no one. Every, second third and fourth cousin with all of their in-laws would be present at the next service. Man seems to mix the signals at his own presumptuous selfseeking.