September 9

Mark 7:31-37

“Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” vs. 36

Mark frequently reminds his readers that Jesus often told people to keep quiet about his healing ministry…but there’s never an explanation for the secrecy. As a result there has been enormous debate about what is known as Mark’s “messianic secret.” Some have said that Jesus was simply applying reverse psychology. He knew if he told people not to say anything they would say even more…and that is indeed what seems to have happened. It’s more likely that Jesus was very serious about what he said…he didn’t want to have people proclaiming him as a great healer. Why wouldn’t he want that? We don’t really know but one possibility is that the healing had become a distraction. He’d come with a message of change and repentance and now his healing ministry had become like a sideshow attraction. Huge crowds were coming but they’d stopped listening…they only wanted to see miracles. In our day there are some who are still looking for a show when they come to Jesus…they want professional musicians, slick videos, charismatic pastors…in a word, they want to be entertained. And sometimes the entertainment actually obscures Jesus and the good news remains hidden. Knowing Jesus is no secret anymore…it comes with self-denial and taking up the cross and involves giving ourselves for the sake of others. Blessed are those who take that step of faith!

Thought for the Day: What is entertainment evangelism?

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