Mark 1:45 (KJV)
But he went out,
and began to publish¹ it much,
and to blaze abroad the matter,
insomuch that Jesus could no more²
openly enter into the city³,
but was without in desert places:
and they came⁴ to him from every quarter.
¹) Proclaim or preach, as in Mark 1:4, 7, 14, 38, 39. This verse is additional to Matthew 8:4.
²) Could no more = was no longer able to
³) Any city; This will again be normal in the life of anyone who does the works of Christ (John 14:12)
⁴) Kept coming to Him for days (Mark 2:1)
From other translations:
But he went out and began to talk so freely about it and blaze abroad the news [spreading it everywhere] that [Jesus] could no longer openly go into a town but was outside in [lonely] desert places. But the people kept on coming to Him from all sides and every quarter. [AMP] 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 desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. [ESV] But as soon as the man was out of earshot, he told everyone he met what had happened, spreading the news all over town. So Jesus kept to out-of-the-way places, no longer able to move freely in and out of the city. But people found him, and came from all over. [MSB] 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. [NIV] But as the man went on his way, he spread the news, telling everyone what had happened to him. As a result, such crowds soon surrounded Jesus that he couldn't enter a town anywhere publicly. He had to stay out in the secluded places, and people from everywhere came to him there. [NLT] However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction. [NKJV]
Now let us see what this verse is telling us.
The Greek (“ho de” indicates a change of subject) indicates that the healed leper is the subject of the first half of this verse. Moreover, the word dia-phēmizo (to make known) is never used for the “preaching” of Jesus (cf. Matthew 9:31 and 28:15).
But he went out
This “he went” can be understood as getting away from Jesus, but also that this leaving of the man means that he was able to go out again (ex-erchomai), that he was able to move freely among the people again; this implies that he had already been with the priest by then.
Seeing the story I hold it on the first (getting away from Jesus), while those who claim that Jesus’ command is not to be understood absolutely, but in conjunction with the command that follows it, meaning that before being allowed to speak about his healing and cleansing, he must first go to a priest to show himself, hold to the second (getting away from the priest).
Began to publish it much
The man goes away and announces the fact that He has been healed by Jesus, thus making known what happened.
Two similar situations, where healed sick proclaim their healing (kërusso), we find in Mark 5:20 and 7:36.
Even though it ordinarily would have been a good thing to tell people, it was now done in disobedience to the Christ, (Cp. 1 Samuel 15:22-23)
Luke 5:15 puts it, “so much the more”.
One of the best ways to spread a thing is to tell people not to tell. It was certainly so in this case.
and to blaze abroad the matter
The joy of the healed man is stronger than Jesus’ emphatic command to be silent, so that He could no longer openly enter the city without being followed.
So Jesus cannot remain hidden (Mark 1:45; 3:7-12,20; 6:31-33).
Mark often points out that the overwhelming attention of the people to Jesus’ miracles is always a problem. As a result, the people just want to see miracles, and fail to appreciate Jesus’ actual purpose: to bring the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus could no more openly enter into the city
Soon Jesus had to avoid cities
The consequence of the proclamation of the healed is that “He” (autonomously) can no longer appear openly in a city. Does this mean that man or Jesus? Since the conclusion of this verse says that they “come to Him from all sides. by ‘He’ (the first autonomous) and ‘Him’ (the second autonomous) we will have to understand Jesus (cf. the subject of Mark 2:1).
Those ‘they’ are the people who also manage to find Jesus in the ‘lonely places’: they flow to Him from all sides (and not to the leper who was healed!). Thus, this miracle of healing greatly increases Jesus’ popularity.
Jesus was without in desert places
He had to move himself to desert places to avoid the crowds
They came to him from every quarter
Even then people kept coming to Jesus from all sides. (Some preachers are not so disturbed by the onrush of crowds).
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