Summary: If a man could not keep quiet when Jesus told Him not to speak, why are you not speaking?
40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
The word straitly is a strong word. He very sternly commanded him to tell no one and yet he told everyone he could find to hear.
You would think that since this was a deliberate disobedience to a direct command of Jesus that his leprosy would return, his tongue cease to function or even he would have a massive MI. Some preachers and Christians would rejoiced if any of that had happened. Thank God, the compassionate Jesus healed him knowing the cleansed leper would disobey that commandment.
How could he remain silent? How many years had he been cut off from society living alone on the fringes of the city? He was dependent upon the mercy of those who would leave food, clothing and maybe even bandages for his wounds. He could never shake their hand, hug and kiss them for their generosity. He could never attend temple worship and to a Jew that was like being cut off and forgotten by God.
He was not forgotten for Jesus had compassion and healed him. Be quiet? To be clean and free to have a rich and full life was more than he could have ever hoped for in his despair! He had to shout out his joy and give glory God to all he could find. It exploded out of him. It was the living water gushing from his spirit. It was give glory and thanks or burst. If only all disobedience had this much holiness in it! Was this a holy joy disobedience? Wow! How to let that sink in. Imagine when he went to Heaven and he said about this time, “Jesus, I just loved you so much and was joyful that I could not obey that command.”
Here was a man commanded to not speak and he could not obey for joy and gratitude. What happened to us? We are commanded to speak and yet we seem able to contain ourselves. Church is an option and far from being sorrowful if we cannot attend we are content to be C&E Christians or concert goers or partakers of the homecoming buffets.
Have we forgotten that we were also lepers who were cleansed of our sins? Is the thrill gone? Where is our joy and gratitude? Why will we just sit back and let other lepers suffer, die and go to Hell? As Keith Green sang, “God's calling and you're the one but like Jonah you run. He's called you to speak and you keep holding it in! Can't you see it's such sin?” We are not in a state of joyful disobedience. We are just cold and carnal. We have lost our first love. We have our priorities all backwards. It is more, “Bless me, Lord! Bless, me Lord! That's all I ever hear.”