Summary: In the end I’ve got to ask myself, "once I get my miracle am I still willing to OBEY Jesus?" Once my needs are met will I still follow Him?
Part 10 - Matthew 9:27-31 - GIVE ME MY MIRACLE, BUT DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
GROWING A BEARD at the school I attended was not an option. It was written into the rules and policies - don’t grow one or be suspended or expelled. I decided at 14 that I would grow a beard to test this policy (I know, your opinion of me has been damaged but you’ll eventually get over it). I was not about to let a school rule deter me and was hauled before the deputy headmaster who said to shave it off or be suspended until I did. He made the mistake of mentioning that the only way I could grow a beard at school was to obtain a medical certificate.
It was easier than I thought to obtain the medical certificate and much to the chagrin of the headmaster and some other teachers, I was allowed to continue growing a beard. I kept it neatly throughout the years of my schooling, but I must admit I had some satisfaction because I was flaunting the rules and there was nothing "they" could do ("they" being those in direct authority over me). I wrote a poem about it in the School newspaper, which ended with words like "man, you better know you don’t own me either" which oozed a rebellious spirit. To me it was a crusade against injustice that I was fighting on behalf of others. I justify my actions on the basis that I was being asked to do something which was unfair, but on reflection, I was just being disobedient. Oh, I wanted to grow a beard and have always had one since then, but it could have waited. I could have come under the authority of the School and didn’t. I didn’t see the point. IT DIDN’T SEEM REASONABLE. I didn’t want to. Matthew 9:27-31 rings a similar bell.
After Jesus heals two blind men, why does Jesus sternly warn them, saying "Don’t tell anyone about this."? (Matthew 9:30). Doesn’t JESUS DOESN’T NEED OR WANT TO BE PROMOTED?Testimonial evidence to a healing is great PR! He doesn’t seem to want to be marketed! He doesn’t need SPONSORS or managers to organise His itinery. DESPITE THE STERN WARNING, these two men who have just been healed ignore Him and go on a speaking tour all around the region to MARKET JESUS AS A HEALER. They were probably quite famous themselves. Is Jesus saying that I need to keep quiet about my faith in Him? I don’t think so. He is saying He’ll let me know when to speak up and when to be silent.
Jesus doesn’t appear to be after fame. BEING A ROCK STAR OF HEALING is one thing but notice that although His fame spread, it doesn’t say people believed in Him. It doesn’t tell us that people gave their lives to Him or humbled themselves under His authority as the Messiah because of what these two men did in telling everyone about their healing. It probably made it more difficult for Jesus because of the crowds.
Later Jesus says to us in Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." There it is again - even in the great commission - FAITH AND OBEDIENCE. Lord I need both for my life today.
I can’t pass over the fact that THEY DISOBEYED JESUS IMMEDIATELY after being healed. I can understand them telling everyone. And who am I to speak? It seems to me I need to give them a break - not to be negative.
But the only way I can rationalise their disobedience is by saying they were just EXCITED ABOUT BEING HEALED, that Jesus’ stern warning was unreasonable, that it was unrealistic to expect them not to tell others, and in the end I’ve got to ask myself, "once I get my miracle am I still willing to OBEY Jesus?" Once my needs are met will I still follow Him?
THE TWO BLIND MEN may have exercised faith for Healing but now they DISOBEY HIM! BLATANTLY! THEY FAIL THE TEST OF DISCIPLESHIP! The real test of calling Him Messiah, Son of David is found in OBEYING HIM on a daily basis. The real test of faith is not found in the CRISIS OF A MOMENT as they are saved and healed but in the PROCESS OF A LIFETIME as they hear what He is saying for them personally.
Faith brings SALVATION AND HEALING. Obedience brings DISCIPLESHIP. Faith comes by HEARING. Obedience comes by MAKING A CHOICE to do what God says for my life, even when I may not want to or it seems there would be no harm or when I can’t see the point. It is faith in action. It is impossible to PLEASE God without faith. It is impossible to SERVE God without obedience, and faith without works is dead (James 2:17). FAITH AND OBEDIENCE go hand in hand - two necessary components of the Christian life.