Yesterday, we concluded chapter seven of Mark's gospel, and have now made our way into chapter eight. As I've reflected a bit more on the passage, one of the questions that continues to glare brightly in my face is, what has Jesus done for you?
In our text, we saw Jesus heal a deaf man who had a speech impediment. After spitting and giving the guy a holy wet-willy, Jesus spoke "be opened." Immediately, the man's ears were opened, and the man was able to speak clearly (Mark 7:31-37). What's curious is what Jesus does next. He tells this man to not tell anyone, but not surprisingly, this man who hasn't been able to hear or speak for probably most of his life, cannot help but tell everyone!
But why did Jesus say, "Don't tell?"
This all of course begs the question of why Jesus told the man not to say anything? The command to silence is one of the key motifs found throughout the Gospel of Mark. Jesus repeatedly tells people not to tell the world about how he healed them. But then, when you get to the end of the gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to go tell everyone. So why the change?
The reason is this: to speak of Jesus apart from his death and resurrection, is an incomplete telling of who Jesus is and why he came. The cross is offensive, but the cross is necessary. We're often convinced that the best way to get people to follow Jesus is to tell them about how he makes our life better, and gives us more joy. These things aren't bad, and I don't believe they are untrue about what Jesus does, they are just lacking the best part of the story. Apart from the cross, we would not be able to be set free from that which truly renders us broken––our sin, and the death it has brought us.
Can you be silent?
We now live in a time where the work of Jesus has been fully revealed. His life was lived perfectly, he died a brutal death on the cross, but he rose victoriously from the grave. His work is complete!
So...What has Jesus done for you?
Jesus has done what you and I never could. He has, through his life, death, burial, and resurrection, reconciled us back to God. If we are his followers today, this means that he has opened our eyes to see that he is the living God, opened our ears to hear that he is the truth, and opened our mouths to proclaim his name in all the earth.
It is in light of this that we cannot be silent.
May we continue to know Jesus and make him known!