“Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning:44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.” Mark 1.43-45
Upon completion of this chapter I’m reminded of one of my favorite sitcoms The Office. After I watch the first episode they set the stage for the rest of the season. So much happens, that it’s hard to believe it’s only just the first episode among hundreds. In the same way, so much has happened in Mark 1 that I find it hard to believe the Gospel has only just begun.
For example, already in this chapter Jesus has been “outed” by demons. No one else knows his true identity but the demons shout it out once and they try another time. But Jesus silences them.
Another example is in these ending verses where Jesus is limited from going around the countryside preaching the gospel because his fame is already so great. He has now been discovered and where ever he goes people follow (think Taylor Swift or the Beatles!).
Jesus has just healed the man with leprosy and gives him what Mark says is a “strong warning.” DO NOT TELL ANYONE. GO TO THE PRIESTS AND OFFER A SACRIFICE. How hard could that be? But when our life is changed, when incredible moments occur, how can we not speak about what we have seen and heard? Jesus must have known this man was going to talk. How could he not? But once he does, this changes how Jesus ministers.
What I find intriguing is that even though Jesus could not longer enter towns openly (for fear of the Jewish Leaders or because of overwhelming crowds) people still came to Jesus. And so must we.
We must make much of Jesus. We must tell of his goodness, his grace, his salvation and his love. We can not help but speak about what we have encountered with the Risen Lord. The news is so good because it affects our very souls. Speaking about Jesus is really the best and only reason we have for living.
When we talk about him people will still come from everywhere to hear the good news. Some will continue to oppose the great works of God, but many will still find hope and peace in the arms of Jesus.
Let’s come to Jesus now. This very day. You will find him willing and able to meet you where you are and heal your brokenness, forgive your sins and restore you to new life by his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are good. In my weariness I sometime stumble before you. I find myself at your feet asking for a miracle. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love. Transform this body of flesh into an image of your glory and of your love. Help me share the good news of your grace in all circumstances and situations so that the world might know. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen