There have been several times in my life when I wish I could go back and make a different choice. It might very well have seemed like a good idea at the time but in the end. Like the time I purchased a device from a late night infomercial, hey it was a great idea, and I ordered in time to get not one but two!
Mark tells us the account of a man who also perhaps wishes he could go back and make different choice.
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. 43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Mark 1:40-45 (NIV)
Coming to Jesus for healing was the single greatest thing this man had ever done. He had seen, and been part of an amazing miracle. In Jesus day it was long understood what contact with an unclean person meant, the clean person became unclean in the encounter. But this day it was God who turned the tables upside down, when contact with an unclean person meant that the clean person remained clean, and the unclean also became clean. This was a complete reversal of flow, from clean to unclean.
Even though Jesus gave him what Mark called a “strong warning” to keep this healing to himself, he instead started to share. I’m not sure if it was just one or two people, who passed the word but scripture says he “spoke freely” about the amazing news. I’m sure based on my ofttimes responses to Jesus that the man probably rationalized away the sharing of the story. “Jesus certainly did not mean don’t tell ANYONE, he just meant….” “Jesus would be ok with my sharing if I give him all the credit.”
But this mans ignoring of Jesus words had a huge consequence as mark records, “As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.” Time for a do over, time to wish for a chance to change a choice. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
This beggar often takes the word of God as a suggestion, unless I have a better idea. I also am sure that, though often unseen, my choices have left a great wake of consequence. In my 25+ years of teaching I have developed a routine that I use in teaching. I ask students to grab their Bible, hold them over their head and repeat after me, the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I then add my own tag, “Jesus said it, I believe it, ‘nuf said.”
It is time to start putting my ideas of a good or bad idea in perfect line with God’s idea.
<>< Just a beggar on a journey. Craig