A Smaller Way?

A reading for Friday, May 8, 2015: Luke 8:40-56.

"Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened."

Over and over again Jesus told those he healed not to tell anyone. He had the very same instructions for the disciples. Why? What was Jesus afraid of? Did he think some Roman would find out and put him in prison? Was this a result of the Pharisees and the scribes warning about healing, especially on the Sabbath? It seems strange to our ears that Jesus would want to keep the miracles of God a secret.

I wonder if the point was simple humility and not boasting in the works of God. There are lots of churches today who do their mission work all wearing t-shirts or some other identification that demonstrates to others who they are as Christians. It seems logical as a way to spread the good news, right?

What if Jesus wants a more humble way? A smaller way? What if the point is that the person receiving the healing knows from where it comes, but it's not meant for the whole crowd "surrounding and pushing in on" Jesus? Is the wearing of a t-shirt really about God anyway, or is it about something else?

Healing can be incredibly personal and private, as well as transformative. Our incarnational God does not simply use people to spread a message, even the message of Jesus Christ. The healing is an intimate encounter with the creator that is designed to alleviate suffering and transform creation more into the image that God has intended since the beginning.

Truth is we like things to be big and famous. Jesus seems committed to a smaller way...


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