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Mark 8:26

ESV And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
NIV Jesus sent him home, saying, 'Don't even go into the village.'
NASB And He sent him to his home, saying, 'Do not even enter the village.'
CSB Then he sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village."
NLT Jesus sent him away, saying, 'Don’t go back into the village on your way home.'
KJV And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

What does Mark 8:26 mean?

Typically, when Jesus heals someone in a semi-private setting, He prefers that they not spread the word (Mark 1:44; 5:43; Matthew 9:30). The only exception thus far is the man from whom Jesus exorcised a legion of demons (Mark 5:20). The striking difference is that Jesus left the area shortly after healing him. When people didn't obey Jesus' request for quiet in the other regions, He was mobbed (Mark 1:45; 3:7; 4:1).

Jesus' miracles validate His identity as a messenger from God, but He does not consider healings and exorcisms to be His primary mission. He is there to train disciples to spread the gospel after His resurrection. After a point, the miracles actually hinder this effort, and the crowds seeking healing are probably what drove Him to Gentile territories (Mark 7:24, 31). This is something we need to learn how to accept. Jesus is more interested in teaching us spiritual truths and sanctifying our hearts than making our lives easier. He will sometimes provide healing or smooth the way through a tough situation, but He'd much rather develop our faith so that we are able to glorify God no matter what we face (James 1:2–4).

Even when Jesus reveals significant truths about His identity, He tells the disciples to keep it quiet (Mark 8:29–30; 9:2–9). He does this for two reasons: the people aren't ready, and the disciples don't understand as much as they think they do. When we are faced with people who have a limited understanding of Jesus and His salvation, we need to be careful not to overwhelm them with hard-core theology. The Holy Spirit will help with that, giving us the words we need (Luke 12:11–12). We also need to make sure we understand what we're saying. We may never fully comprehend the nature of the Trinity or how salvation by grace through faith really works. For some, this drives them to learn more, but others get discouraged to the point they leave the church. New Christians often want to use their enthusiasm to reach others. That's great! What would be better is if they join with an older believer who can answer their questions as they learn.

Modern culture has a name for the overconfidence of beginners: The Dunning-Kruger effect. This idea says that people who are just beginning to understand a new concept have an over-inflated confidence in their understanding. Apollos had this problem as he preached in Ephesus. He was a good speaker, he knew the Scriptures and understood the importance of repentance, and he was passionate about spreading the truth. The problem was, he didn't understand the whole truth. Priscilla and Aquila came alongside him, teaching him about Jesus and the way of salvation (Acts 18:24–26). Likewise, we should all be humble enough to know that there is always more we can learn.
What is the Gospel?
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