“Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.” Mark 7:36
“Look but don’t touch.” I don’t know how many times I was told that as a boy. But it seems, as I think back over the years, that I probably touched what I was told not to more often than I kept my hands to myself.
What is it about the forbidden that makes it so attractive to us? It doesn’t matter what it is. If we’re not supposed to eat something what do we want more than anything else? If there’s a toy or some other object we’re not supposed to play with why do our fingers just itch to hold, and spin, and juggle that object above any other?
But we haven’t even considered the other side of the coin. Why is it that if we’re given direct instructions as to what we ought to do that so many of us come up with so many ways of avoiding getting the job done? What is it about school work that makes it attract so many distractions so that it takes twice or three times as long to complete as it ought to? And when chores are given why is it that this kind of work attracts so many other tasks to itself that it takes twice the effort to get the job done? Why are we always trying to multitask when it’s been proven that doing so causes us to accomplish less, do sloppier work, and make more actual mistakes than it would have if we’d just focused ourselves and done one thing at a time?
Jesus, in the book of Mark, is repeatedly recorded telling people to not tell others about miracles he’s worked for them. But not once could the people keep a secret. In fact, our focus text observes that “the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.”
Jesus had good reason to want to not advertise his activities. It seemed that the more good he did the more he was attacked by the jewish leaders. If people could’ve just not broadcast his actions quite so much he just might’ve been able to avoid some of the trouble and done more good for them.
The sin in us drives us to disobey. But Jesus came to set us free from sin’s power. And we’re set free by connecting our lives with Jesus. By letting Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, live in our hearts. It’s true that while we’re learning to cooperate we still make a lot of mistakes but it’s also true that without him we can’t do anything. With Jesus in our lives all things God asks become possible.