Matthew 12:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 12:16, NIV: He warned them not to tell others about him.

Matthew 12:16, ESV: and ordered them not to make him known.

Matthew 12:16, KJV: And charged them that they should not make him known:

Matthew 12:16, NASB: and warned them not to tell who He was.

Matthew 12:16, NLT: but he warned them not to reveal who he was.

Matthew 12:16, CSB: He warned them not to make him known,

What does Matthew 12:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Large crowds continue to follow Jesus, and He continues to heal everyone who comes to Him for help (Matthew 12:15). He also returns to His practice of ordering those He heals not to make Him known. That is, He tells them not to tell how they were healed or, perhaps, that He is the Messiah.

Why order those He has helped not to tell anyone? It's not clear. Jesus may have been attempting not to draw the attention of Jewish religious leaders who wanted to destroy Him (Matthew 12:14). Or He may have been trying to manage the size of the crowds following Him. His mission was to bring healing to Israel and demonstrate the power of God, but He may have wanted to keep the crowds from growing so large that Romans began to look at them as some kind of revolutionary threat. Many people who believed Him to be the Messiah may have expected Him to use His power to overthrow their oppressors (John 6:15). Jesus had not come to do that and did not seem to want that expectation to grow.

However, Matthew has given several examples of people who immediately disobeyed Jesus' order not to talk about their healing. These were the ones overcome with joy, who went out and told everyone they saw about what had happened and the One who had done it.