Thursday, April 10, 2014

Let the People (Not Evil Spirits) say that "Jesus is the Son of God!" (A Reflection on Mark 3:11-12)

[Whenever] the people who had evil spirits in them saw him,
they would fall down before him and scream, ‘You are the Son of God!’
Jesus sternly ordered the evil spirits not to tell anyone who he was” (Mark 3:11-12, GNB).

This scene reminds me of a true story told by my colleague. There was a booth set by religious club in campus with a sign: ‘Jesus is a Muslim.’ When a very concern student when to the booth, she was bombarded with many twisted-quotations and doubtful-questions to refute her confession of faith about Jesus of the Bible. Thanks God she was aware of what was going on and reported it to the campus authority. Frankly, it was a religious agenda to convert Christian students to become Muslims (we must speak the truth!) in campus by claiming that Jesus is not who He is – the Son of God.

But in contrast, the evil spirits “fall down before him” and tell the truth (for they were in the presence of the Holy One) and “scream” publicly that “You [Jesus] are the Son of God!” Isn’t that the same testimony as the Book of Mark reminds us earlier that “Jesus [is] the Son of God” (Mark 1:1)? It is the truth, isn’t it? So, why Jesus told them “not to tell anyone who he was”? Why not the evil spirits just tell lies such as “You are the Son of the Devil!” or “You are not the Son of God!”? Why the command to silent?

If you understand the way Jesus (or rather, God of the Bible) wins people to Himself, He doesn’t force or manipulate people to confess that He is Lord and Savior. He never once told people that “If you refuse to follow Me, I’ll kill you!” He gives clues – sufficient evidences – either by His miracles and healings, the virgin birth and the cross, the transfiguration and the ascension, the empty tomb and the resurrection, the Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the universe and our conscious, all of these may lead us to conclude for ourselves that He is Lord and Savior, “the Son of God.” Jesus don’t need demoniac testimony to His Person even though such testimony would have been irrefutable (so shut up you evil spirits!) for He had others in mind for that task – the apostles (Mark 3:13-19) and now to us, His followers (Mark 16:15).

Again, I repeat: Jesus doesn’t need the evil spirits or religious clubs to make Himself known. He wants people (including you and me) to find out who He is by listening to God’s Word – the Bible – and by observing His deeds in the gospel stories. He desires the church to spread the truth about Him. He desires our witnesses to tell others about God’s salvation. He desires our personal lives to make the difference in people’s lives. He wants us, living and redeemed people of God, to “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people” (Mark 16:15, GNB). This is God’s desire.

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