Last week was a general theme week for me again. I noticed that when Jesus would heal or deliver someone, he would often tell them to not tell anyone. We see that in places like Luke 4:41 "Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
And in Luke 5:14, "Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."
I think I know why Jesus did this and it is best demonstrated here:
7:20-23 When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' " At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
I think Jesus knew that His actions were a much better testimony of who He was then having someone announce it. There are a lot of people who make claims to be something they are not, but you can't deny what you see.
After seeing a dead man raised-
7:16-17 They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Those people who saw Jesus perform miracles responded naturally by recognizing that he was different and worth their attention. Those who heard about him before seeing him move, approached him with a critical eye. We see that here-
5:30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
I have a modern day example of this. I have a friend who is a non-believer. He signed his kid up for a sports team and the coach introduced himself as a pastor. My friend went into that experience looking for that coach to mess up and walked away proclaiming that he was a liar because he did not play my friend's son in the position that he had originally told him he would play. I can't help but wonder how that experience would have been different if my friend wouldn't have known the coach was a pastor and could have related to him based on his example instead of his title.
SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS TODAY? I think the take away is that the testimony of our lives is more powerful than the testimony of our t-shirts or the fish on the back of our cars. We can wave the Christian banner or we can live the transformed life. I think what Jesus was teaching us by his example is that people are more attracted to what they see then what we proclaim to be.
TODAY'S SIDE NOTE: I have a ridiculous # of vacation pics so I have to go ahead and post some here. I will give you a hint for Thursday- this children's area was not closed.