We are strange creatures..
We love having someone guide us, but we hate being led. We enjoy browsing a map, but not when we are lost. We look for a path through the woods, but enjoy wandering off of it more than on it.
Although we love the protective sense of boundaries, we also choose to walk the crumbling edge of the cliff behind the “no trespassing” sign. There is something about the challenge of, “Don't look”. Or, “this cannot be done”. The lure pulls us in like a mosquito to a soft bare arm.
What is it about our human nature that asks for boundaries but doesn't like being confined by them?
It's nothing new. Jesus saw the rebel heart in those around Him too. It was no more evident than with the man living under the tyranny of leprosy (Mark 1:40-45). This disease was cruel. Slowly, skin blotches white. Fingers and toes begin to rot. You feel the sting of death. Nothing is secret. Everyone knows. The lines are drawn and you are shunned. Your epitaph is being written. This will kill you.
Hearing of Jesus' ability to heal, this man knows this is his chance. If not now, never. He begs and Jesus obliges. With one simple touch the world comes to a halt and he is healed. All evidence of leprosy has disappeared. He is a miracle.
Jesus gives one curious obligation. “See thou say nothing to any man”. Just give an offering at the temple and shhh. Jesus knew word of this miacle would spread on its own. So don't make a big deal.
Human nature to go against the flow kicks in. The desire to walk off the path hits overdrive. “Don't say anything” is just a challenge.
“But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city,”
Truth be told, the excitement of regaining control of his life from the slow death of leprosy was too much to contain. He knew what it was to have life slowly choked out of him. This leper felt the stares and disdain of those that avoided even a conversation. He experienced the heckles of those that assumed the judgment of God for some assumed secret sin. He lived with the lingering burn of self hate. Now his prison door has been flung open. His death sentence was canceled.
Really, this is our story of salvation. The disease of sin was undeniably killing us. It was spreading through us more rapidly than a wildfire. As our time of death inched closer, God came near. The Savior reached out and pardoned us.
Jesus told this man to hush, but he couldn't; Jesus tells us to proclaim Jesus and we run and hide.
This truth is just part of the larger picture. Really the problem is that we don't like being told what we should and should not do. Therefore, we leave the clear path to wander on the forbidden. We forsake safety for adventure. We want to look around the bend and be our own navigator.
The bottom line is.. It's not that we need new truth. For most of us, we don't need another message, another class, or another book. We just need to start to live what we already know. Application to known truth is at famine levels among us as believers.
What is that one thing God has been pestering you to do, that is still left undone? What is one simple expectation God has put out to you that you still refuse to submit to? Forgiving someone? Telling a co-worker about Jesus? Giving to a cause? Starting a converasation with an undesireable? Renewing a fight with a sinful habit?
Whatever it may be, It is right where you left the path, and the same place in which Jesus is waiting for you. Bad-aids in hand.