Why does Jesus sometimes instruct people after a miracle to tell others and sometimes asks them to tell no one?
This is a question that has been bouncing around in my brain for a while. Just so happens Luke 8 has two opposing instances of Jesus’ instruction:
The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Later, when he brings little girl back to life:
But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
These two stories seem to be written at about the same time. I don’t think this has anything to do with Jesus going “public” with his ministry or not. It seems in the text that in the first story there aren’t many people around but herdsmen (34). In the second story, there are throngs of people. So many around Jesus doesn’t even know who touches him (45).
I think it’s possible Jesus is just making a ministry decision here about crowd control. Areas that are too dense to minister to, he wants to turn down the press a little. In areas where no one has even heard of him, he lets people speak freely.
Maybe there’s nothing to it at all and I’m reading too much into it.