Learn by Topic: Strategist
Today’s Gospel from the Mass (Mark 1:40-45) highlights one of the times that Jesus seeks to avoid publicity:
And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.”  And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.  And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,  and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”  But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
Jesus sternly instructs the man not to tell anyone (except the priest so that the man can re-enter the Temple, now that he is clean). Why?
Dr. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch offer 3 reasons in their marvelous commentary in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (every Catholic should have a copy of this wonderful resource – get it here):
- Jesus wanted to avoid a “sensationalist” reputation of being no more than a wonder-worker.
- Jesus wanted to avoid the common notion that the Messiah would be a political and military leader.
- Jesus did not want to ignite the wrath of His enemies before the appointed time for His Passion.
Jesus was a brilliant strategist, picking and choosing when, where and how He would reveal Himself. Even when people refused to cooperate!
Father Jonathan Kelly taught at CatholicManNight on April 20, 2012. Here is an outline of Father’s address on the Knowledge of Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ speaks from who He is and what He knows, not from what He has learned or what He believes.
- In the history of the Church, counsels arise to determine answers to what is being questioned at the time.
- First heresy was that Jesus only appeared human because of the amazing things He did. It is called – Docetism (from the Greek word meaning “appear.”
- Then the pendulum swung the other way, Arius said that Jesus Christ was created by the Father. “Was not before he was.”
- Council of Nicaea in 325 settles it:
- Jesus Christ is of the same essence of the Father, co-eternal, begotten not made (our Creed comes from Nicaea)
- Fully God and fully man, true God from true God
- Next question was, how is He both God and man?
- Council of Chalcedon in 451 answered, “Without mixture, without confusion.”
- Divine nature penetrates the human nature without changing it
Man has always been on a quest for knowledge. Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall to Satan’s temptation to “know good and evil” and to be “wise” (Gen 3), the knowledge quest has drawn men into sin. The Enlightenment failed because it sought to build knowledge through rational thought and the rejection of God. More recently, Marx (economics), Nietzsche (power) and Freud (sex) all proposed new knowledge that would bring man fulfillment. The dismal post-modern idea that there is no sure knowledge, seeks to deconstruct civilization into an atheistic, pluralistic and relativistic pool of confusion. The Internet has provided easy access to most human knowledge and experience including the promotion of darkest human perversion, just a click away. Politicians, media kings/queens and activists promote hyper-partisan opinions, gaining power/wealth, while dividing people into armed camps. Man’s use of the exploding levels of secular knowledge has not led to peace or joy.
The Powerful Knowledge of Jesus Christ