Why did Jesus tell the leper not to say anything about being healed, but to go to the priest and show himself?


Mark 1:43 - 44

ESV - 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once. 44 And said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 20 2020 Mini Angela Acosta

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say, first, that, in the specific case of the leper cited in the question, the Mosaic Law required certain steps to be taken before a leper could be declared legally clean (Leviticus 13-14). Even though Jesus had healed the man, He wanted him to immediately satisfy those requirements in obedience to the Law (in the same way that Jesus fully obeyed the Law), and thus serve as an official public testimony of both the man's obedience and healing, rather than to be delayed as a result of talking to others before those required steps had been performed. 

Also, as in other cases where Jesus advised people whom He healed not to tell others about it, I would say that it was because Jesus did not want to be primarily known or sought out merely for being a worker of miracles, or for physical healing. His primary earthly mission (prior to His atoning death and resurrection) was to bring spiritual healing and salvation through faith in Him and the forgiveness of sins, which was a greater human need than even physical health (as shown by examples such as Mark 2:1-12), since the effects of being reconciled to God through faith and forgiveness would be eternal, rather than ceasing with temporal death.

February 20 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
An awesome question, Angela Acosta!

Jesus told the leper whom he had healed in Mark 1:44, go, show yourself to the priest. The purpose was to offer sacrifices and the priest would then pronounce the former leper ceremonially clean (Lev. 13:6, 13, 17, 23). See, too, Luke 5:14. He was to go to the priests and follow the instructions given in Leviticus 14 so that he might be declared clean and received back into the social and religious life of the community.

Mark 1:44, which Moses commanded, refers to a sequence of 2 sacrificial offerings God mandated to mark a diseased individual’s healing and reintegration into the community (Lev 14:1-32). Jesus has already cleansed the man. Now, the priest must directly examine him to certify that the source of uncleanness has indeed gone.

The cleansed leper was not above the law. He had to follow it, according to Jesus, "as a testimony {or witness} to them." There was no record of a cleansed leper in Jewish history after the healing of Miriam in Numbers 12:10-15. So a cleansed leper would be very big news among the Jews. 

Once the cleansed man presented evidence to the priest that he had truly been cleansed by Jesus, the priest would be forced to investigate the claim, and the evidence would then be presented to the Jewish Sanhedrin for the final word on the matter. Thus by sending the man to the priest, Christ was, in essence, sending evidence to the highest recognized authority among the Jews that the miracle-working Messiah was in their midst. 

Like sin, leprosy is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3) and it spreads (Lev. 13:5-8). It defiles and isolates (Lev 13:44-46); and it renders things fit only for the fire (Lev 13:47-59). Anyone who has never trusted the Savior is spiritually in worse shape than this man was physically.

I love how this, Jesus' miracle of the cleansing of the leper, is DRAMATICALLY portrayed in the Chosen episode. Watch it:


February 20 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Justin Hale
Apart from wanting to make sure that the leper was following the Torah in response to GOD's sudden blessing and mercy, Jesus was sparing him the 'persecutions' that come from being a 'shunned outcast' who suddenly decides to rejoin society without 'official sanction.'

In modern terms, this would be like spending a good deal of your life on government disability because of a well documented and intractable chronic illness, only to have GOD suddenly and totally heal you. 

What happens next?

You'd better hightail it to the doctor's office to get the 'documentation' to back up your claims because otherwise you might face decades worth of 'welfare fraud' charges!

It reminds me of a few years back when Oprah Winfrey started giving out cars to 'poor folks' but didn't really think about how they would afford the gas, insurance, and taxes. Some of them ended up in debt and worse and had to sell the new car just to dig their way out of the new financial hole!

Unlike 'celebrity idols,' GOD thinks everything through when He gives us His 'perfect gifts from above' (James 1:17). 

There are no 'oops' moments afterwards, which is how we can always distinguish true divine miracles from the 'false wonders' (2 Thessalonians 2:9), now being offered in their place. 

In fact, one way that we could 'invite' more divine miracles is to get this kind of 'documentation' ready first! That would be a powerful way for us to tell GOD that we TRULY believe that He wants to heal us suddenly and completely and that we are READY whenever He is!


March 09 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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