There are numerous instances in the gospels of Jesus healing someone, and then Jesus in some form or another instructing them to keep silent about it. One example, in Matthew 9:27-31

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they replied.

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. (emphasis mine)

Why did Jesus not want them to proclaim their healing? It doesn't make sense to me, as anyone who was healed of a lifelong malady would naturally want to tell all their friends & family. Was this just him making a point about how silly it would be not to share what God has done for us (e.g. the gospel) with others? Or is it something else?

  • related: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1102/…
    – Narnian
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 15:52
  • I saw that one, but it seems to be a different track. Maybe the reason is actually the question - that he didn't want people to know he was the Messiah?
    – SSumner
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 15:58
  • The original question would be christianity.stackexchange.com/q/1102/84
    – Richard
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 15:48
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    One possible reason is indicated in Mark 1:43-45 "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." Apparently Jesus didn't want to be renown before entering a city in which he would teach, heal, etc.
    – DIYser
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


When reading the gospels there seems to be two or three main problems Jesus always encountered in terms of ministry and politics. The most deadly was the jealousy and hatred of the religious leaders. Jesus often had to move away from any opportunity where they might be overly aroused and have easy access in apprehending him (Luke 20:20) Jesus seemed to manage the timing of his arrest. The second was crowd control (Matth 8:18). As more and more flocked to Jesus the crowds became too large to effectively minister to them so he had to move away to less crowded areas and even leave to a new region to avoid crowds. The third problem is less obvious but quite clear in Jewish history, that of the zealots who wanted a Messiah to lead them in war against roman rule.

All three of these concerns might be involved in Jesus wanting to limit his fame depending on the situation , where the religious leaders and their 'spies' were, how big the crowd was and how the zealots might have used his fame for their own agenda.

Of course there is no way of hiding a miraculous healing to those who knew the man. To those who would know he was healed he would have to explain what happened. He was not asked to 'hide' his healing, just refrain from telling people who would not already know. Jesus seems to simply want to avoid sensationalism and some political hazards. He did not want the man to broadcast his exciting experience, until perhaps much later on. Jesus managed the political landscape on which he was drawing more and more attention from crowds of people with differing motives of interest.

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    Good answer, but the problem I have is that he specifically says "so that no one knows about this". Why would he not want friends and family to know?
    – SSumner
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 22:26
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    @SSumner - They would not be able to hide their healing from his family or any that knew them. I think 'no one' means do not publish it to anybody who would not already obviously know. I.e. do not be a news-station broad cast because I am trying to avoid the sensationalism and politics of my miracles.
    – Mike
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 2:35
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    if you'd add that comment to your answer in another paragraph, I'll accept
    – SSumner
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 16:21
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    @SSumner - added a bit
    – Mike
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 23:55

I always thought that this was attributable to His approach to Kings in general. Earthly kings want credit for the work that they do; it's how they maintain power. Jesus' kingdom is heaven, therefore the standard rules of earth-bound kings do not apply. Approaching the question from a faith-perspective, it really makes sense to me that Jesus wouldn't go around granting favors to and then asking them to remember who it was that did "x" for you when the Pharisees came around. Earth-bound kingdoms are by definition transitory; taking credit for His good works would have put him in the same class as the Caesars of Rome. Instead, Christ opts for a revolution from below approach. I think that had Christ performed miracles then went around bragging about it, the faith would have died shortly after The ascension.

Also, it's entirely consistent with what he preached. How would it have been if he said "stay humble, the last will be first" and then go out and make a spectacle of himself?

  • While I agree mostly with what you said, Christ would not have been bragging had he proclaimed his glory openly. It was not in his purpose to do so at that time, but there would have been nothing sinful or wrong in doing so, since all glory is due to him
    – SSumner
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 4:17
  • I didn't say that Christ would be bragging; in fact, I said just the opposite!
    – jdb1a1
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 11:27
  • Okay, well I don't think that the faith would have necessarily died out had he proclaimed it.
    – SSumner
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 14:27

Why did Jesus not want people to talk about his healing?

The works Jesus did were to authenticate his ministry.

Matthew 11:2-5 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Jesus was aware that such signs could be used to create an almost carnival atmosphere.

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Jesus came to give testimony to the truth. Spectacle and celebrity usually interfere with those who seek truth.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

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    You may wish the see the overview question which was recently created to combine this and a couple other related questions. Please feel free to contribute there.
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 14:53

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