In yesterday morning’s Eucharist service, we read in Mark (1:40-45) about the leper that Jesus healed. The Rev. Chris Bowhay shared about the “Messianic secret”- Why did Jesus instruct the leper to “tell no one” what had happened?
Chris listed three strong reasons why Jesus would want to remain “incognito” at this point in his ministry: 1) the crowds would overwhelm him and he couldn’t go about his ministry, 2) it would distract his followers into thinking that his ministry was just about the miracles, and 3) once his identity was revealed, opposition would immediately be triggered sending him on a trajectory to his death.
Jesus could see the future and knew what would happen. Although he instructed the leper to tell no one, the healed man was disobedient, and “went out and talked freely, spreading the news.” And just as he had predicted, “Jesus could no longer enter a town and had to stay in lonely places.”
So, if Jesus knew what would happen, why did he perform healing miracles at all?
Because he was moved with pity.
Jesus acted out of compassion in healing the leper, the demon-possessed man, the widow of Nain, and two blind men. He was moved with compassion when he saw the multitudes who were hungry, or those who were weary and scattered, lost without a shepherd.
Jesus’ knew what would happen, but he healed those in need anyway. It teaches us that Jesus’ whole mission is about divine compassion; the whole point of his ministry is for us to be healed, too.
Rev. Bowhay said that Jesus is still “overcome with emotion” for each of us. He continues to love us so deeply that whatever our wounds, Jesus will heal us and make us whole again.
Blessings, my friend,
(click below for MP3 file)