Why Did Jesus Say Tell No Man?

In some of Jesus’ encounters with people, after he helped them in some way he charged them to stay quiet or to not widely publicize their healing. Why? And what did He want them to do?

For instance, two examples are found in Luke. In Luke 4:41 Jesus was casting out devils. The devils knew He was the Messiah – the Christ, or Anointed One – and they were talking about it. Probably, they were surprised to encounter Him. They were His enemy, but He had the power, ability, and authority to command them to leave peoples’ bodies. As He did so, He told them to shut up about His identity. Why?

In Luke 5:12-14 Jesus heals a leper. He tells him to tell no one – except the priest. The man had just been healed miraculously by the Messiah…but the Messiah wanted it kept under wraps. Why?

The answer has more than one answer, I suspect. But one major aspect of this selective revelation has to do with “authority”. Jesus was allowing the leper to tell the priest at the synangogue that he had met the Messiah. Jesus did not allow devils to do the same.

The earthly authority at the time was legally, rightfully, legitimately that of the religious leaders. Corrupt it may have been. Imperfect, crooked in many cases it was. And of course it was fading and about to transition away. But Jesus was telling the leper, “Tell the priest” so that the priest would rightfully have the chance to know and publicize that the Messiah had come.

It was not the place of devils to announce the coming of the Messiah and the kingdom of God.

If the religious leaders had been righteous, they would have been overjoyed to see the coming of Messiah. If they had been righteous they would have checked the prophecies and recognized Jesus for who He was – and been honored and exhuberant to welcome Him. But they did not.

Some religious leaders did, individually. But the majority of them eventually sentenced their own Messiah to death by Roman crucifixion. They were blind.

Jesus gave them every opportunity. They had been granted the privilege of being the first to know, and thus had the chance to announce the Messiah’s arrival. They failed.

But now we can be told. The news is widely known. “Messiah has come”. You, as a person who can decide for yourself, can either accept Him by faith or you can reject Him.

He’s come once, and will return soon. Be waiting for Him as a disciple, not as a rejector.

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