I’ve read the passage in Mark countless times and I have to admit, I’ve always glossed over his action as both understandable and “no big deal.” In truth, I’m like him—I can think of times when God has brought His word to mind and I liked my idea better. I’m reminded again of how important obedience is. What God says I need to do. “Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean’” (Mark 1:40). Jesus was filled with compassion and touched the leper—healing him. Then He did a curious thing. He strongly warned the man not to tell anyone but to go and show himself to a priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded regarding cleansing. Jesus told him this would be a testimony to them (the priests and fellow Jews).
Mark goes on to write, “Yet he went out and began to proclaim it widely and to spread the news, with the result that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly . . .” (1:45). The word “Yet”” ought to get our attention. It is the precursor of disobedience and a signal that God’s instruction is about to be waylaid. This man undoubtedly thought, “Whoooowee! I’m not a leper anymore. Jesus is awesome! Of course I’m going to tell people what happened—He deserves to get the credit. I’ll help Him since He just powerfully helped me!” We sympathetically agree and cannot help but understand why he would trumpet the unbelievable news—“I’m healed!”
That “harmless” broadcasting severely crimped Jesus’ ministry. As a result of all the commotion, Jesus could not enter a town openly. He had to stay outside in lonely places (1:45). Hmmm. I wonder how many times I’ve left the Savior lonely because I chose celebration when He wanted silence. I wonder how many times I’ve pushed my agenda because it seemed “right”—resisting the Holy Spirit’s leading. I wonder how many victories I might have experienced if I had just listened and obeyed. If Jesus possesses the power to make me clean, what gives me the right to ever ignore His guidance? The bath of grace is so luxurious it’s easy to spurn the soap of discipline.
Hebrews 12:25--Make sure that you do not reject the One who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven.
We get wrong when we think of the afterwards; the purpose of God is our obedience.—Oswald Chambers in God’s Workmanship
There exists a subtle form of rebellion that argues that if I am truly loved by God I can disobey him, especially if there is lacking any objective evidence that it causes harm.—Walter Henrichsen in Thoughts From The Diary Of A Desperate Man
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)