As I have read the gospels again and again, each year new things seem to jump off the page and gets my attention. I suppose all of you reading this narrative know that the Bible is the living word of God, and unlike a book of history or a “self-help” book, the Bible is of divine and supernatural inspiration and origin.
Today what came “alive” was something I read that Christ consistently did when He healed people: He told them to keep in confidential. I have heard “why” He did this from my professors at my university and in graduate school, but their remarks are not based upon something spelled out in the Bible, but rather their personal assumptions—-which might be totally correct. But today I thought of it differently. He healed blind people, lame people, exorcised demons, made folks clean that were covered with leprosy and even brought some back from the dead. But when He was not in front of a crowd, He always requested that the one healed to tell no one about the miracle.
Now the reason that is typically given for why He requested silence is that because if they broadcast to the entire community the miracles Christ had performed He would be over-whelmed with others also wanting to be healed and He could never get His primary tasks accomplished, etc. But I am beginning to think that maybe there was another reason, or at least some other message Christ was trying to communicate to people like me. And that message was, perhaps, “Let this be our secret”. We tend to think of secrets as being bad things or that we have something sinister to hide by having secrets. But the greatest friends we have are those that know our deepest, darkest secrets and still call us their friends.
Maybe the miracle Jesus performed was meant solely and singularly as a blessing and act of His love for the one being healed and was not meant for anything else. Perhaps Jesus was saying, in effect, “I have healed you not to use you as an example of what I can do, but because I believe in you.”
There is a special relationship that exists when He is able to tell us things, teach us things, perform bonafide miracles for us, and then ask us to “keep this between you and me”. What a gesture of love and approval! It’s as if He is saying, “I am not doing this to you so that I can use this for greater purposes—-you are the greater purpose!” I cannot begin to imagine the stories we will hear in heaven of those who had such an intimacy with Jesus that they were requested to keep some things confidential, “just between you and me”.
There are times that I need to shout from the tops of myy lungs the great things that God has done for me! But perhaps there are also times to keep the matter treasured in my heart as His special gift just for me—a secret between Him and me.