quietly on purpose

“How come Jesus told people not to talk about how he healed them?”

That’s a great question. It’s a question that someone asked me recently. It’s a question that I’ve wondered about and have made up answers to and have never really looked at.

Until just now.

It wasn’t because I was actually doing the research to answer the question. That would be too wise, too intentional. (It is a good principle, however. When someone asks a question about what something in the Bible means, consider actually looking in the Bible).

No, I was just moving through Matthew, the way I have been doing here, and I read “warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfill…” (Matthew 12:15-21).

As I read the “fulfill” part, which is a quotation from the prophecy of Isaiah, it was describing the ministry of someone who would work quietly, work gently with hurting people, who would not drive down the street with an loud amplifier.

Now, here’s the interesting thing: at the same time he’s proclaiming justice, no one will hear his voice in the streets.

It’s an interesting thought. Maybe he will be showing justice. Maybe he will be living justice. Maybe he will, with the touch of his hand and a quiet voice, bring hope and healing.

Maybe those of use following him can follow that model, living justly, whispering hope, offering healing with gentle words that will not destroy those already bruised and burned. Maybe, in fact, following is working around the edges looking for the bruised, the burned, the breaking. Maybe following is seeking out. Maybe following is being in the streets gathering pieces of broken hurt and mending them until justice is gently led to victory.

Maybe following means, or at least includes, living quietly on purpose.

2 thoughts on “quietly on purpose

  1. Annie

    And sometimes, when we hold the glory of our ‘deed’ to ourselves, it is much more gratifying.


  2. Jim Hughes

    I like that suggestion, Jon. I find myself uncomfortable with street corner preaching, whether on the physical street corner or on Twitter. So I like it that we have permission as followers to be like The Teacher. Because I also know that of all the teachers in the Bible, He’s the one I would prefer to encounter.

    Blessings to you!


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