“And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.” – Mark 8:30
Ever read that verse or ones like it and wondered, “Why is Jesus telling people to not tell everyone about Him? Isn’t that the point?!” After healing people, Jesus often says to them to tell no one.
Why is Jesus not wanting people to rush off and tell the world what God has done?
Does that make any sense?
I’ve often struggled with these words of Jesus. I mean, God in flesh is limiting who knows about Him. Odd…
Or is it?
I love God… I was working through Mark 8 recently for a sermon and God just dumped this truth on me. Jesus tells people, in particularly those whom He has just healed to not tell anybody because they’ve only experienced half a Gospel. Jesus heals the sick, feeds the hungry, and has compassion on people… all of this is true and good. Yet it’s only half of the Gospel. What Jesus is trying to curb is people only running off with only half of a whole… the easy half.
Wouldn’t it be nice to just have that half of the Gospel? It would be so marketable. But haven’t we done that already? Isn’t it so “easy” to take the easy part of the Gospel and run with it, professing this to be all you really need to know?
But Jesus gives the other half of the Gospel at the end of Mark 8.
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” – Mark 8:34b-35
The other half of the Gospel bids us come and die. Jesus does want to save, heal, feed and love on us; but our part is to respond by laying down our lives, giving up the very thing we hold most dear in order to gain what we’ve always wanted. We cannot hold on to ourselves and to Christ. We must let go of one of them.
May we stop and ponder what the full Gospel is before we run off and try to tell people about half of it.