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In Luke 8, the man freed from the Legion demons is told by Jesus not to follow him, but to tell everyone round about. But later, Jesus heals Jairus's daughter and tells the family not to tell anyone. Why would Jesus want the man who had demons driven out of him to tell everyone, but not want Jairus's family to tell everyone about the miracle?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The difference is that, in the pigs story, Jesus was asked to leave the region:

Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

Luke 8:37

So the formerly demon possessed man was possibly the only witness / preacher / disciple Jesus had in the region.

In other cases, Jesus' popularity has prevented Him preaching (Mark1:44-45) and even eating (Mark 6:31)! So He often told people not to tell others about the miracles.

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From a strictly textual perspective, Mark is big on the Messanic Secret, whereas Luke is not.

This could simply be the emphasis of the writers - Mark (and Matthew who uses much of the same material) is writing to a Jewish audience, one that understands the power struggle and inevitable sacrifice around the "Kingship" of Jesus. In contrast, Luke's emphasis (and thereby Paul's) is on the poor and oppressed, to whom the Good News was supposed to be preached first.

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I can understand the "who they are telling" leading to different emphasis, different inclusions / omissions etc. But if the "who is listening" leads to a different outcome, isn't that a problem? – Marc Gravell Mar 19 '12 at 18:39
Interesting answer, thanks. – John Ferguson Mar 19 '12 at 22:59

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