We met with some charges of this nature before, given to those whom he had miraculously cured, that they should tell no man of it, Mat_8:4 9:30; but this seemeth to differ from them. There he only forbade the publication of his miracles; here he forbids them preaching that Jesus was the Christ, a doctrine necessary to be believed in order to people’s salvation. We are not able to give an account of all our Saviour’s particular actions.
1. We are sure this was a precept but of a temporary force and obligation, for we know that afterward they did sufficiently publish this abroad, only for a time he would not have it published by his disciples. We cannot certainly determine whether he forbade them;
a) Because they were not as yet fit to publish so great a truth. Or;
b) Because the time was not yet come for the publication of it. Or;
c) He would not have it published till he rose again from the dead, having triumphed over death, lest people, hearing of it before, should have had their faith shaken by his death; which seemeth very probable, because in the next words he begins to speak of his death.
d) That he might hereby (as much as might be) avoid the odium and envy of the Pharisees. Or;
e) That himself might publish first this great truth of the gospel, and confirm it by his miracles.