30 Question 1

That’s a very interesting question.  Let’s look at an incident where the Lord Jesus commanded His disciples to tell no man who He truly was.  Matthew 16:13-20 says, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”

The Lord Jesus “came unto His own” as we read in John 1:11.  We also read at the introduction of the birth of Christ in Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Even the Lord Jesus, Himself, said in John 4:22, “…salvation is of the Jews.”  The coming of the Lord Jesus to the earth was for the salvation of the nation of Israel.  We read in Matthew 10:5-6, “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  Consider this exchange between the Lord and a Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:22-24, “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  The Lord had come as the Messiah for the nation of Israel.  When I read John 1:11 previously, I only read half of the verse.  Let’s read it in its entirety: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”  The nation of Israel rejected the Lord Jesus as its Messiah.  We read of the Lord in a parable that he gave in Luke 19:14, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”

The Israelites hated and rejected the Lord Jesus because he exposed their sins to them.  The Lord Jesus said in John 15:22-25, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.  He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”  Of course, the Lord knew all this would happen.

As the rejection of the Lord became more apparent, the Lord began to withdraw from the people to minister to those who would receive His word.

The portion we previously read in Matthew 16:13-20 was a turning point in the ministry of the Lord Jesus.  He begins to tell His disciples of his impending rejection, suffering and death as we read in Matthew 16:21 which says, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”  Before He speaks of His death, however, He speaks of His glorious church, which to that point had never been mentioned.  The Lord said in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  This shows that the church had not yet been formed, but when it was formed, it would be powerful enough to withstand even the gates of hell.  The church would be made up of all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was after the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He said to His disciples in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  This goes far beyond the original mission of the Lord to save His people, the Jews, from their sins.  Now the Gospel goes out to every man, woman and child, no matter what their race or nationality is.

Let’s consider briefly the incident of the Lord’s amazing transfiguration in Mark 9:1-9.  After the transfiguration, we read in verse 9, “And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.”  Here, the Lord told Peter, James and John to keep silent about this until after His resurrection from the dead.  The disciples were obedient to the word of the Lord as we read in Luke 9:36, “And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.”  It was after His resurrection that Peter writes about the transfiguration in 2 Peter 1:17-18 where he says, “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

Now let’s read Matthew 12:14-21 – “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.  But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”  Here is one more reason the Lord asked the people to remain silent.  As Christian writer H.A. Ironside wrote: “He had not come … to create astonishment in the minds of men by His wonder-working ability; He had come to manifest that meekness and lowliness which the prophet Isaiah predicted would be seen in Messiah when He appeared.”