“Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (verse 19). He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this (verse 43). Mark 5

The previously demon-possessed man is encouraged to tell everyone about his healing yet Jesus gives strict orders that no one tells of the young girl’s healing.

Geographically these were two very different places. The demon-possessed man lived in a Gentile area but the young girl lived in Jewish Galilee. The Gentiles had few preconceived ideas about the Messiah so Jesus was able to tell the man to share his miraculous healing with others. However, in Galilee Jesus had to be careful that the people didn’t respond by prematurely claiming him as their king. Or alternatively become so disillusioned because he didn’t match their ideas of a Messiah that they prematurely kill him.

Different contexts required a different directive from Jesus.

It’s an important lesson for us. We cannot assume God wants us to react in the same way even when it appears to us that God is doing something similar to what we’ve seen before. God treats us as individuals and doesn’t respond in a one size fits all fashion.

It’s an easy trap for us to fall into. We think we know what people need to hear. We think we know what others should do. We freely give out advice without taking the time to listen and being sensitive to where people are at spiritually.

God knows people’s contexts far better than we do. He knows what they need to hear at a particular point of time. If we’re going to minister effectively to others we must first listen to his Spirit.

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