Mar 3:7-12 ESV – Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
When the demons are cast out, they cry out “You are the Son of God.” Then Jesus tells them to shut up. This always shocked me. Jesus *IS* the Son of God. The demons are actually speaking truth – possibly the only truth they’ve ever spoken – and Jesus tells them to stop! Do you remember the saying from Bambi, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all?” Well, here, it seems that the demons DO have something good to say, yet Jesus still commands them not to say anything at all. Why does He do that?
There is a connotation to the text that can be hard to discern. Basically, it comes down to timing. Some commentators think the Demons were trying to have power over Jesus by speaking His name. Others think that they were so fearful of His Deity that they had to praise Him (I’d lean more to that scenario). Either way, the Demons were saying the right thing in the wrong way.
Think of it like the guy on the Street Corner yelling the Bible at people. Sure, he may be speaking truth, “YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!” But it’s not the time nor the way to speak that truth. Jesus silences that form of “truth.” There is a right and a wrong way to speak, and these demons were doing it the wrong way. Jesus silences them with a word. It is not time for them to speak. It is time for silence.
“[There is] a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” – Proverbs 3:7b