Disobeying Jesus’ Command: Mark 7:31-37

Focus Passage: Mark 7:31-37 (NIV)

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Read Mark 7:31-37 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

If there was one thing Jesus seemed to say on multiple occasions, it was to keep quiet about something He had done. Usually this “something” was about some healing or miracle, but in most places where Jesus wants someone to remain silent, there must have been a reason for making that request.

But the interesting thing about Jesus’ requests like this is that it seems that the more He told people to be quiet about it, the more they spread the news. The passage we are focusing on even says this: “Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.” (v. 36)

It appears as though Jesus wants to help people, but that He doesn’t really want His reputation to simply be the Healer who put all the doctors out of business. We could stretch this to say that Jesus eventually will do this, since in heaven and the new recreated earth, there will be no need for doctors or nurses as an occupation.

But then why would Jesus want people to stay quiet about what He was doing?

Perhaps it was because Jesus wanted to be known for more than a miracle worker. Perhaps Jesus wanted to avoid attracting a crowd of people who were only there because of what He could do for them. Jesus was not interested in seeking glory, popularity, or fame for Himself. Instead, it seems that He wanted to keep pointing people upward, to God.

But even with the crowd disobeying Jesus, we can learn something: The more we do for God, the more people will take notice. When we are walking along the path God has laid before us, people will notice us, but we should not seek after the fame or glory that people give. We must always remain focused on the glory that comes from God.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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