Let’s continue with the eighth chapter of the good news story as Mark tells it to us. There is just so much to unpack in the last sixteen verses of this chapter! We’ve talked about the curious two-part healing of the blind man and part of the conversation Jesus has with his disciples after the healing as they were walking to their next gig.
After Jesus heals the blind man, he tells him to go straight home, do not go into the village, do not pass go, do not collect $200. And then we have a conversation between Jesus and his disciples which begins with Jesus saying, “Who do people say I am” and “who do you say that I am?” Peter respond with “you are the messiah” and Jesus orders them not to say a word to anyone.
Just before all of this Jesus does this in readable, fully public, no excuses made miracle of feeding thousands of folks with just one sack lunch. We know that throughout his ministry on earth, he did many public healings and miracles. And yet, we have these times when Jesus tells folks not to tell anyone. So which is it? Are we to proclaim the love of God or keep quiet?
And here’s the best theological answer I can craft for you: it’s both.
Jesus is tuned in to people’s motivations, their ‘human nature’ if you will – the way we are each wired to respond to what is occurring around us every moment. Jesus understood something about the folks that brought the blind man to him that we aren’t told and he took the man aside for a private healing. Jesus understood something about this man and his relationship with the village people (stop singing) that we aren’t privy to and he told him to go home by another road. Jesus understands that the disciples nor the people they minister to aren’t quite ready to grasp God’s intention for The Messiah (just look what happens when Jesus begins to teach them about it – Peter when from top student to Satan).
The whole and holy healing that Jesus brings us is witnessed best by the way it changes our everyday ordinary moments so that our behavior is in line with the words we proclaim about who God is and who we are in relationship with God.
Sometimes we just need to “go home” not looking for any public recognition but with the desire to love as God loves. Sometimes in the moments when we see a deeper glimpse of Jesus and God in ourselves we simply continue on with our regular work and tasks with a better understanding of ourselves. Sometimes we need to proclaim publicly God’s miraculous, transformative love for each and every human being. Life is situational and we can’t see into other’s true motivations as Jesus is able (most of the time we don’t even like to see into our own, much less someone else’s).
So, we follow Jesus, loving others and ourselves as God loves us. This is the answer.
When God’s love transforms us from the inside out, the outward and visible signs of this healing will proclaim the good news to everyone we encounter, both in the ordinary every day and the extra ordinary events in which we may participate. We proclaim God’s love with the way we live and the words we say.
How does knowing God loves you change the way you proclaim this amazing good news in the ordinary every day?