Summary: Ongoing series answering questions from Christians
Sermon Series: “Questioning the Faith”
Sermon #11 “What Did He Say to Do?”
Text: Matthew 4:23-25
OPENING JOKE: “Bad News” A friend found his buddy sobbing on a park bench. He tried to console the old man by asking what was troubling him. The weeping man explained, “I just went to the doctor and she told me I would have to take these pills for the rest of my life.” His friend replied, “Hey, that’s not so bad. Lots of people take pills.” The upset man said, “I know, but she only gave me ten pills.”
REMINDER: Please take the time to write out new questions for this series (Give out the question sheets)
INTRODUCTION: Tonight we are going to discuss a topic that deals primarily with speculation.
The reason for this is because all of the cases dealing with tonight’s subject are narratives (told in story form)
And it is hard to determine specifics from narratives because much of the outside information that could be relevant is not included within the text.
Such is the case for much of the OT history books and the NT book of Acts.
Tonight’s question deals with the miraculous healings of Jesus
QUESTION: “Why did Jesus tell some people when He healed to not tell anyone about it, and other He said to tell everyone about it, and some He did not say one way or the other?”
Before we look at examples of this, I want to share a truth with you: There are some things we just don’t know for sure.
Tonight much of what I give is simply an interpretation of Jesus’ actions – but we must realize that He never gives us the exact answer to this question.
The first thing we should remember when dealing with this topic is this:
Sometimes the SITUATION determines RESPONSE
Illustration: “Kids playing baseball” Moms, if you all went home to your children/grandchildren playing baseball and they were in their ‘church clothes’, you would tell them to stop. But if they were playing baseball in the appropriate clothes, you would probably not tell them to stop.
This illustration has nothing to do with why Jesus told some to speak and some to keep silent, and I am definitely not implying that some were ‘more clean’ than others
The illustration is just one that helps us understand that sometimes “Situation determines response”
***With this in mind, let’s look at a few of the situations in which Jesus gives different people different responses…
a. READ the scripture from Mark
b. Here we have Jesus willingly cleansing a man with leprosy
i. Leprosy is an incurable and progressive skin disease
ii. That which is considered leprosy is the Scriptures is likely a severe and intense type of psoriasis
iii. It was not one that was able to be hidden, especially in its later stages
c. Jesus tells the man to “say nothing to anyone” concerning his healing, but to go to the Priest
i. Now it is obvious that people would notice his cleansing
ii. Lepers were outcaste, even by their own families
iii. And now this man was cleansed – something people were bound to notice!
iv. And of course the Priest would inquire concerning this miracle
d. So why did Jesus warn him not to speak of the miracle?
i. Look at verse 45
ii. Mark 1:45 “However, he [the healed leper] went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.”
e. This was very early in Jesus’ ministry
i. People were in the early stages of forming an opinion about who Jesus was
ii. And Jesus did not want them to see Him as a miracle worker alone
iii. Because He would be attacked ‘from every direction’ by people who were only seeking miracles and not seeking God’s plan of redemption
f. Look at what happened to Him because of the healed leper’s disobedience
i. He was unable to teach in the city anymore
ii. He was forced to go out into the desert, because of the mob of people
1. Do we see how the ‘Situation governs Response’
2. Jesus’ knowledge of how the people would react seems to indicate why He told the healed leper to not say anything
g. QUOTE: Effectively, Jesus’ ministry had to stop in this city and He had to move on because the healed leper refused to be discreet with his heeling
Let’s now move to the next situation…