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flooda34
Jul 25th 2010, 12:54 PM
In Matthew 9:30, Jesus sternly warns two men he has just healed from their blindness not to to tell anyone about this, specifically to "See that no one knows about this".

I find this to be a very strange even unrealistic request on Jesus' part. The passage doesn't say specifically, but I get the impression that these two men have been blind for quite some time, maybe since birth. I can only imagine the joy they must have felt being able to see after being blind. If this had been me, I would be telling everyone I know (and some that I don't) what happened simply out of pure joy!

Being fully human and understanding humanity, how could Jesus realistically make such a request? It just doesn't make sense to me how he can expect these men to be quiet about their sight being restored. (Indeed they didn't remain quiet as evidenced in verse 31)

The stock christian answer I have heard is that publicity over such miracles might hinder Jesus' mission and divert public attention from his message. I agree with this to some extent but in this specific case it doesn't add up. Why even heal them at all if he didn't want them to speak of it? Being fully divine, Jesus already knew they wouldn't adhere to his request so why even make it? Why not just heal them and send them on their way? I'm curious what other think about this. Thoughts?

embankmentlb
Jul 25th 2010, 01:23 PM
It's all part of Jesus' plan. Jesus repeatedly tells people things that he knows they can NOT do. Just suppose we could be perfect, or even close, on our own. Why would God send us Jesus to begin with? There is a message.

Scruffy Kid
Jul 25th 2010, 02:16 PM
Hi flooda34!
Thanks for your post!
Though you've been a member for quite a while we haven't crossed paths (since you have read more than you have posted).
So, though you've been here a while I want to say: Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's great to have you here!!! :pp :pp :pp

You raise this issue, and then ask for people's thoughts.

In Matthew 9:30, Jesus sternly warns two men he has just healed from their blindness not to to tell anyone about this, specifically to "See that no one knows about this".

I find this to be a very strange even unrealistic request on Jesus' part. .... Thoughts?
I'd like to compare, for a sec, Mark's description of the ministry of John the Baptist:

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:4-5) It's clear, of course, that it wasn't everyone in Jerusalem ("all the people", pas Ierosolymites), or the countryside ("all the land", pas chora), although those are the expressions that Mark actually employs. Mark is speaking loosely, here. He means "a lot of people" or "a million people" or "a ton of people" (as we might say); and in the kind of Greek he is writing, it's natural to indicate that by saying "all the city and all the countryside". He means it was a big, well-known phenomenon.

Do we do the same thing? Only recently a friend -- seeking to explain the reason things were going awry nowadays -- gave this explanation:
Only because no one wants to be accoutable for anything and everyone expects that they are entitled to everything. THAT'S why ... Does this friend mean that there is no one, literally that wants to be accountable for anything, or that everyone expects to be entitled to everything? Of course not. It's just a way of talking; and what is meant is that too many people expect too much entitlement, and take too little responsibility.

Now let's go back to Matthew 9:30. Jesus didn't want these blind men to advertise what He had done. That's clear. So he told them to keep quiet about it, rather than go around proclaiming it everywhere. But instead, they did just the opposite: they went around telling everyone. That's what I think Matthew means.

(Concerning how we tend to use language, note that even after that discussion about use of comprehensive terms, when one really means only "a lot" I wrote the previous paragraph saying "proclaiming it everywhere" and "telling everyone" -- obvious extreme exagerations -- without even noticing it until I looked back over it! :lol: ) Jesus didn't really say to these fellows "lock yourself in a closet, and don't allow your families and neighbors to see you, so that absolutely no one has any idea what happened" Rather, when Matthew says that Jesus sternly warned them " not to to tell anyone about this" I think Matthew means that Jesus made it clear that they should keep things as low key as possible, rather than proclaiming what had happened widely and enthusiastically.

In friendship, :hug:
Scruffy Kid

Nomad
Jul 25th 2010, 07:46 PM
Unfortunately, we're not given the reason for Jesus' prohibition. Anything that could be said is merely a guess.


There was, no doubt, some reason for forbidding it, which is unknown to us; and those men, through inconsiderate zeal, spread the rumor before the proper time. - John Calvin

flooda34
Jul 26th 2010, 12:46 AM
Hi flooda34!
Thanks for your post!
Though you've been a member for quite a while we haven't crossed paths (since you have read more than you have posted).
So, though you've been here a while I want to say: Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's great to have you here!!! :pp :pp :pp

You raise this issue, and then ask for people's thoughts.

I'd like to compare, for a sec, Mark's description of the ministry of John the Baptist:

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:4-5) It's clear, of course, that it wasn't everyone in Jerusalem ("all the people", pas Ierosolymites), or the countryside ("all the land", pas chora), although those are the expressions that Mark actually employs. Mark is speaking loosely, here. He means "a lot of people" or "a million people" or "a ton of people" (as we might say); and in the kind of Greek he is writing, it's natural to indicate that by saying "all the city and all the countryside". He means it was a big, well-known phenomenon.

Do we do the same thing? Only recently a friend -- seeking to explain the reason things were going awry nowadays -- gave this explanation: Does this friend mean that there is no one, literally that wants to be accountable for anything, or that everyone expects to be entitled to everything? Of course not. It's just a way of talking; and what is meant is that too many people expect too much entitlement, and take too little responsibility.

Now let's go back to Matthew 9:30. Jesus didn't want these blind men to advertise what He had done. That's clear. So he told them to keep quiet about it, rather than go around proclaiming it everywhere. But instead, they did just the opposite: they went around telling everyone. That's what I think Matthew means.

(Concerning how we tend to use language, note that even after that discussion about use of comprehensive terms, when one really means only "a lot" I wrote the previous paragraph saying "proclaiming it everywhere" and "telling everyone" -- obvious extreme exagerations -- without even noticing it until I looked back over it! :lol: ) Jesus didn't really say to these fellows "lock yourself in a closet, and don't allow your families and neighbors to see you, so that absolutely no one has any idea what happened" Rather, when Matthew says that Jesus sternly warned them " not to to tell anyone about this" I think Matthew means that Jesus made it clear that they should keep things as low key as possible, rather than proclaiming what had happened widely and enthusiastically.

In friendship, :hug:
Scruffy Kid

You make a good point in that maybe Jesus meant to keep it low key rather than to 'not tell anyone at all' which is how I was interpreting the passage. It just seems odd that Jesus would ask this, knowing how nearly impossible it would be for these two men to comply. Thanks for the reply.

flooda34
Jul 26th 2010, 12:49 AM
Nomad: From which of John Calvin's writings are you quoting from above?

Nomad
Jul 26th 2010, 01:18 AM
I'm quoting from Calvin's comments of Matthew 9:30.

ThyWordIsTruth
Jul 26th 2010, 09:47 AM
In Matthew 9:30, Jesus sternly warns two men he has just healed from their blindness not to to tell anyone about this, specifically to "See that no one knows about this".

I find this to be a very strange even unrealistic request on Jesus' part. The passage doesn't say specifically, but I get the impression that these two men have been blind for quite some time, maybe since birth. I can only imagine the joy they must have felt being able to see after being blind. If this had been me, I would be telling everyone I know (and some that I don't) what happened simply out of pure joy!

Being fully human and understanding humanity, how could Jesus realistically make such a request? It just doesn't make sense to me how he can expect these men to be quiet about their sight being restored. (Indeed they didn't remain quiet as evidenced in verse 31)

The stock christian answer I have heard is that publicity over such miracles might hinder Jesus' mission and divert public attention from his message. I agree with this to some extent but in this specific case it doesn't add up. Why even heal them at all if he didn't want them to speak of it? Being fully divine, Jesus already knew they wouldn't adhere to his request so why even make it? Why not just heal them and send them on their way? I'm curious what other think about this. Thoughts?

Jesus did not want them to publicize his healing because it would interfere with the plan of God, which is that Christ would be crucified by the people. That I think is the chief reason. If you read the Gospels carefully, you'd notice then whenever people followed Christ for the wrong reasons, he'd purposely say some hard saying to them to drive them away. When they came by force to make him king, he had to leave the area and go somewhere else, which would hinder his ministry.

These people really did not love Christ as Messiah. They only wanted to force him to become king for their own benefit. Some followed him for the food he gave (after feeding the 5000), others for the healing he could bestow. Christ would have none of that.

Secondly, Christ healed them out of his mercy towards them. He didn't want people to come to him for the benefits he can dish out, but to come to him because they recognized who He was and desired his person, not his gifts. It's no different today if you think about it carefully. There are people who become Christians so that they can "use" God as a means to get what they want in this life and the next, and others who love God as an end. God does not accept the former kind of worshippers.

notuptome
Jul 26th 2010, 11:18 AM
There is an aspect of this warning that should be considered. Jesus knew that the Pharaisees would persecute these men for their testimony of what Christ had done. Jesus may have had the safety of these men in mind when He told them to keep what had happened on the down low. These men walking around with their vision restored would be a considerable testimony without saying a word. If the miracle was attributed to Christ they would likely be put out of the synagogue them and their families.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

flooda34
Jul 27th 2010, 02:07 AM
I'm quoting from Calvin's comments of Matthew 9:30.

I understand that but what book specifically? Is it a commentary on the book of Matthew written by Calvin?

flooda34
Jul 27th 2010, 02:10 AM
There is an aspect of this warning that should be considered. Jesus knew that the Pharaisees would persecute these men for their testimony of what Christ had done. Jesus may have had the safety of these men in mind when He told them to keep what had happened on the down low. These men walking around with their vision restored would be a considerable testimony without saying a word. If the miracle was attributed to Christ they would likely be put out of the synagogue them and their families.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Interesting point Roger. I hadn't thought about the safety of the mean being healed as a potential reason to remain quiet.

Frecs
Jul 27th 2010, 02:40 AM
I have not studied it out with commentaries or such so I can't give a fancy answer. But, I've always seen it this way: Jesus wanted them to testify about their healing because they wanted to, not because he told them to. That way, the testimony would be from their heart rather than obligation. It's like the 10 lepers...Jesus heals them and sends them to the priests...but two return to say thank you...their hearts were grateful and from that gratefulness came genuine worship. What God has wanted from the time He first created Adam.

Nomad
Jul 27th 2010, 02:51 AM
I understand that but what book specifically? Is it a commentary on the book of Matthew written by Calvin?

That would be correct.

subarctic_guy
Jul 28th 2010, 12:30 PM
this always seemed simple to me: jesus didn't say to keep it a secret that they had been healed -that would be immediately obvious anyway. He told them not to say that He himself had healed them. Seriously, it got to the point where Jesus couldn't even go into towns anymore but had to preach out in the boonies. and even out there they tried to carry him off and force him to be the king. think soccer fans. . . :)

crawfish
Jul 28th 2010, 04:35 PM
Jesus asked a lot of people to keep things quiet. Here is what I think.

In Matthew 11, John the Baptist asks if Jesus was "the one who was to come"...meaning, is he really the Messiah? Jesus replies, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

These verses point to Isaiah 35:5-6 and Isaiah 61:1 - signs that point to the Messiah. Since when Jesus (and early Jews) always quote scripture to cite the larger context around it, read also the verses prior in ch.35 and following in ch.61 to get the full message that he was sending to John.

Essentially, Jesus is saying "prophecy is being fulfilled" to indicate that yes, he is indeed the Christ. This claim will not become public until the end of his life, though, so Jesus is trying to control the damage by limiting what the Pharisees and others knew - because they knew if he made such claims of healing then it would only follow that he would claim to be the Christ.

subarctic_guy
Jul 28th 2010, 05:19 PM
so Jesus is trying to control the damage by limiting what the Pharisees and others knew

i don't know about this, remember when they say him preforming supernatural acts and criticized him for it -saying that he shouldnt do it on the sabbath or that he was doing it by the power of the devil? I don't think it was a secret to them.

crawfish
Jul 28th 2010, 05:47 PM
i don't know about this, remember when they say him preforming supernatural acts and criticized him for it -saying that he shouldnt do it on the sabbath or that he was doing it by the power of the devil? I don't think it was a secret to them.

I don't think his healing was completely a secret to them, but I do think Jesus was trying to control how much they knew.

In the end, I don't think we can know for sure exactly why Jesus told some people to stay quiet. It does seem that Jesus only very slowly revealed his true nature, and that once he went fully public he was put to death quickly.