Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” (Mark 1:41-44; from today’s gospel)

Over the many years of leading Bible studies, I have often been asked why Jesus would perform a miracle and then command the person healed and the bystanders not to tell anyone? It is a regular feature in Mark’s gospel – and it never works out. “The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad” (Mark 1:45)

Continue reading