“.. why not share their answers with the world?’’


“And have they turned up answers to any of life’s big mysteries?’’ ‘‘ They have.’’ ‘‘ Then why not share their answers with the world?’’ Morgan gave a sad smile. ‘‘It is easier to learn about the world than try to save it, is it not?’’”

from “Relentless (Dominion Trilogy Book #1)” by Robin Parrish

See this quote on amazon.com

Unfortunately, Morgan’s answer is one that many would agree with.
Too many.

But not all.  Fortunately.


The Man With Leprosy (Matthew)

8:2-4 pp — Mk 1:40-44; Lk 5:12-14

Mt 8:1 When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Mt 8:3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

A Man With Leprosy (Mark)

1:40-44 pp — Mt 8:2-4; Lk 5:12-14

Mk 1:40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Mk 1:41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Mk 1:43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

The Man With Leprosy (Luke)

5:12-14 pp — Mt 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-44

Lk 5:12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Lk 5:13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
Lk 5:14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
Lk 5:15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

You may not have really paid attention to the line immediately under the section headings in the Bible.  
This set of verses is an excellent example of why it’s important to not only pay attention to them –
but to read them!

Each of the authors of the Gospels had their own reasons for writing what they did – and each had their own target audience.  As people usually do, they also noticed and / or focused on different things while retelling the events.

Notice – 

  • All three of them included the part about Jesus saying “I am willing” and “Be clean!“.
  • All three also included a warning not to tell others, along with the statement – “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.
  • However –
    • Matthew stopped there.  He said no more about what happened afterwards – when the people talked anyway.
    • Mark and Luke both spoke to the fact that, in spite of the warning to not talk about it, word got out about what happened anyway.

“It is easier to learn about the world than try to save it, is it not?”

Apparently not.  
This person – healed by Jesus – couldn’t resist telling people about it!
Even though it was Jesus Himself that told the man to not tell anyone – just to show himself to the priest and make an offering as was required by the law.  No more – no less.
But the man talked.  Apparently quite a bit.

Had we just stopped reading at Matthew, we wouldn’t know this.
Had we read Matthew first, then skipped over the incident when we got to Mark and Luke – thinking we already read it and know what happens – we would have missed something very important.  Being healed by Jesus and staying quite about it apparently are two things that just don’t go together.

If you go to a good doctor – especially for something that heals you of a bad disease or if you had a very successful surgery – and a friend has the same problem – would you not tell them about the doctor?

So why not tell them about Jesus?


(Healing) (Matthew)

Mt 15:29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

The Healing of a Deaf and Mute Man (Mark)

7:31-37 pp — Mt 15:29-31

Mk 7:31 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 him to place his hand on the man.
Mk 7:33 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.
Mk 7:36 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.”

Again, we see that Mark has details left out by Matthew.  

Matthew says nothing at all related to Jesus telling the man not to speak about the healing.  He also says nothing about the man telling lots of people.

But Luke – he include both.  And apparently more than just this one man mentioned in the NIV heading name – “But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.”.  People just couldn’t stop talking about what Jesus was doing,

“It is easier to learn about the world than try to save it, is it not?”

Apparently not.  
These people – healed by Jesus – couldn’t resist telling people about it!
Even though it was Jesus Himself that told them to not tell anyone – they told more people and word spread faster than ever.


A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman

9:18-26 pp — Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56

Mt 9:18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
Mt 9:20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
Mt 9:22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.
Mt 9:23 When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.

A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman

5:22-43 pp — Mt 9:18-26; Lk 8:41-56

Mk 5:21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
Mk 5:30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
Mk 5:31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
Mk 5:32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Mk 5:35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
Mk 5:36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Mk 5:37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman

8:40-56 pp — Mt 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43

Lk 8:40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
Lk 8:45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
Lk 8:46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
Lk 8:47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Lk 8:49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher any more.”
Lk 8:50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
Lk 8:51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
Lk 8:53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Yet again, Matthew has left out the part about (1) not telling anyone.  However, this time he did mention that the news getting out..

From Mark and Luke – we learn that Jesus did tell the people not to talk about what happened.

“It is easier to learn about the world than try to save it, is it not?”

Apparently not.  

Jesus had just saved someone’s life.  And warned them not to tell anyone.
But did that stop them?
No!


What have we learned?

First – we learned the importance of really checking out what the Bible says.

For each of the three sets of verses we looked at –
we got different information from each of the Gospel writers.  
It’s not that they disagree over what happened.  
It’s not that any of them got it wrong.

It is that each had a purpose – a target audience – and things that caught their attention.  Just like when we read the Bible – we notice different things as we reread it that we never noticed before.  For those very same reasons.

So it’s important to read all of them – cross reference them – put together the whole scene by combining them, when appropriate.
I say when appropriate – because there are clues as to whether or not we are looking at two similar events – or whether we really are looking at one event.

Yes – another thing to learn about how to read this incredible book.

Second – we learned that Morgan’s statement isn’t always true.

“It is easier to learn about the world than try to save it, is it not?”

Apparently not.  

 In fact – I’d go so far as to say – it should be exactly the opposite.

And when it’s not true for us – maybe we need to be asking ourselves – why not?

Conclusion

The Great Commission

Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I get it.  
It’s scary.
You never know how people will respond.

Even writing – it’s out there – public – and literally anyone can put up a comment, good or bad.

But the hard part for me, is teaching a class.  I go to a relatively small church.  Small classes.  Very personal.
When I was working – I could stand up in front of a room with a couple hundred people, and it wasn’t a big deal.
I knew my stuff.  But I didn’t know all the people.  Sometimes – I didn’t know any of them – and would never see them again.
But it was just me.

Just me.
And that’s why I often wonder why it can be so hard to teach a class with new people in it.

After all – Jesus told us –

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

With that kind of help – what’s to be afraid of?

Too often – it  is  easier to just hide.
Just learn – more and more and more.
And don’t do anything with that knowledge.

But then – what’s the point?

More importantly – if I don’t do anything with it, I feel like I’m letting down Jesus – the One who gave His life for me.

I really don’t want to do that.

So I keep writing.  Hopefully helping people get to know Him.

And I keep teaching.  Hopefully getting people to understand Him.

And I keep waiting for it to get easier.
I keep waiting for me to really understand the reality behind having Him with me always.

How about you?

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