After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this,and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:40b-43)
If someone were to read the Gospel of Mark without the Easter Sunday story, they might come to an interesting conclusion about Evangelism:
Maybe we shouldn’t do it.
That’s right. Maybe we shouldn’t tell anyone about Jesus!
Several times, like after casting out a demon, or healing someone, Jesus makes it clear he doesn’t want people to hear about this stuff.
It’s like a refrain: “Don’t tell anyone!”
Maybe we should take him seriously on this.
Let’s stop telling.
If someone asks about Jesus’ mighty deeds, we could say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Or, “I’m sorry, but that’s classified.” Or, “Members only.” Or, “That Holy Mystery is above your pay grade.”
You know, it just might work. Church is in a decline these days. Maybe we need to add a little secrecy back into what we’re doing. Instead of showing all our cards, we can hold back a few things.
Call it “Advanced Christianity”.
What do you think? Should we stop spreading parts of the Good News, and let folks come to us for a change?
Here’s how we could do it:
On our signs out front we could just put a great big question mark.
And we could all adopt buttoned lips but knowing smiles.
Speaking of buttons, we could have buttons that say “2B1Ask1”.
Oh wait, that’s the Freemasons.
Scholars call these statements from Jesus the “Messianic Secret”, but I don’t really think Jesus was trying to be hidden or unapproachable.
I think he was trying to make sure people didn’t just point to his miracles, and miss the message.
He wanted folks to hear the Word, not just watch the spectacle.
I get that. The world needs to hear what Jesus has to say more than ever.
So maybe we aren’t being commanded to keep the Good News silent. The Gospel of Mark just wants to remind us to choose our words wisely.
And as for the healing and demon-casting?
That will continue to be a Holy Mystery…
Even for us Advanced Christians.
Have a great week,