Ok so maybe I am being thick here but something has been puzzling me for a while. Why did Jesus, after healing people or casting out demons, usually tell them not to tell of what had happened? In fact not just that they shouldn't tell, but the language used is very strong: he commanded or he ordered in some cases...
I have been re-reading Marks Gospel this morning and noticed this several times and I just don't get why he would say that. I mean for example he raised Jairus' daughter from the dead and the bible says he gave strict orders not to let anyone know about it. Strict orders. The guys daughter has just been raised from the dead and he gives strict orders not to talk about it - I mean that is quite an ask! And in Mark 7 he commands the healed deaf/mute man not to tell anyone. This is a man who has not been able to hear or speak and he is not allowed to explain how he suddenly can. I mean isn't that a bit odd?
It is also particularly apparent when he is dealing with the demon-posessed. He is very firm when they call out that he is the Son of God, Holy or The Christ, he always silences them, rebukes them or does not allow them to speak. In Luke 4:41 it specifically says he would not allow them to speak becasue they knew he was the Christ.
But why? My husband and I have been discussing this and the only obvious answer is that if he allowed people to spread the word in this way it would possibly take away from their freedom to chose, and the bible does make it clear that we have to chose for ourselves whether we believe. God is not a dictator. I just can't think of anything else. In terms of the demons calling out his name I can see that maybe it is to do with the fact of who they are and not worthy to even say his name or to speak the truth. But then in the case of miracles and healings, why perform them in the first place? Because surely performing signs and wonders was a part of showing that he was the Son of God? so why perform them and not let people share what had happened (although it does say in several places that they did anyway!)
In Mark 8:30 he even tells the disciples not to tell ayone who he is. So perhaps it was about timing? Maybe the timing wasn't right to reveal who he was?
I just don't know. I would really appreciate some advice here! As I said, I may be being really dense and missing something obviouis but it has been bugging me for a while, so someone give me a heads up please!