Don’t Tell ANYONE!
Yes, those words are a direct order from Jesus, after he heals a man with leprosy. I’ve
always wondered about that.
What was Jesus thinking? This happens early in Jesus’ ministry, when few people have
heard of him, let alone met him, heard him preach, or witnessed miracles and healings.
In any entrepreneurial endeavor, you have to get the word out about yourself as many
ways as you can — and word-of-mouth is one of the best. Word-of-mouth about miraculous
healing definitely gets the word out!
But as I think about this, I’ve got an idea what might have been going through Jesus’
mind when he said “Tell no one.” He also said “Go, show yourself to the priest.” The
man used to have leprosy, and now he doesn’t. That speaks for itself louder than any
testimonial could. The absolute best way for word-of-mouth publicity to happen is for
someone to ask “How did you…?” It means they already want to know more, and will
listen when you tell them. Imagine you’re this man, walking to the store to get some
groceries, when you haven’t been there for years since you got sick. Just being there is
big news, people will want to know how you got healthy again.
Another way to think about this is “Showing says more than Telling.” Or, “Actions
Speak Louder Than Words.” How do you share your faith with others? Are you uncomfortable
talking about it? I know I am. Imagine how much easier evangelism
would be if others brought the subject up! So, how can you arrange for people to ask
about your faith? Try being a visible embodiment of Christ’s teachings, try acting to
change what you perceive to be injustice. In Matthew 25, Jesus claims as his own those
who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty, care for the sick, and
visit the prisoner. Are you doing these things, to share the good news? Is your church
doing these things? In broad daylight? Doing what needs to be done really is more
effective than talking about what needs to be done. Not only does it spread the gospel
by example, it actually does the world some good. And people will start asking you how
this miracle came to pass!
Prayer: God, help me preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, to use
Allen Foster is a member of Chalice Christian Church. He also serves on
the CCNC-N Training & Care Committee and as a Regional Elder