MJ asked:

In the gospels Christ performs a miracle healing a deaf mute but then tells this person to not tell anyone. Why does Christ ask this?


Mary Healey replied:

"... we have to understand that in the context of Jesus' actual ministry in the first century in Palestine in a world where there was a tremendous ferment of Jewish expectation for a messiah. And the messiah they expected ... would overthrow the Roman empire, a military and political messiah who would ride triumphantly into Jerusalem, and reign on the throne of David and establish soverignity for Israel.

So when Jesus came and begain his public ministry he was the messiah fortold by the scriptures. But His life and ministry were very different from what people were expecting, and he had to lead them very gradually into the right understanding. And so He told people many of his miracles, not to spread the news because he knew very well that what would happen would be that He would gain a reputation as a great wonder worker, a great miracle working prophet, and eventually the crowds would decide to carry Him off and make Him king. Which is excatly what they tried to do in the gospel of John chapter 6 after His miracle of multiplying the bread and fish. And so He asks those people who had been healed ... not to spread the news so that there wouldn't be a kind of false popular rumor about who He was and what His mission was. That could actually have derailed His true mission. In fact it could have easily have brought down the wrath of the Roman empire before His time was complete..."


Copyrights:

Catholic Answers, "Do the Gospels Contradict?" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2014)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

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Show air date: February 14, 2014

Name of show: Do the Gospels Contradict?

Guest comments by: Mary Healey

Question appeared in show: 31:45


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