Do you remember saying this as a child, singing to other kids who didn’t know what you knew? What about when you knew a secret you refused to tell. What about knowing a really good surprise and taunting the person about to be surprised? I feel like I used it all the time, and so it brought a smile to my face when Jesus basically did the same thing to John and his disciples.
When John’s disciples come to ask Jesus if he is the one they’ve been waiting for, we shows them the miracles he is doing, and then he reiterates to them all the things he is doing that signify that he could be the Messiah. He doesn’t say “Yea! Go let John know it’s me, and he didn’t do it all in vain. Oh, also tell him I’m going to die on a cross and then come back to life. We’ll rendevouz for coffee once I die come back to life and ascend to heaven after giving these dudes some instructions.” Instead, he lets John decide to believe if he chooses. How much stronger must that faith and belief be, if it is understood and chosen instead of told?
Jesus also uses this tagline (or would have if he was me?) when talking about the reason for parables. They hold the secrets of heaven, but are told in ways so that not everyone will get it. They come in riddles and stories that make you figure out the answer – and as such sometimes they have different meanings at different times. I love that about the “tales”; they allow us to learn what we are ready to learn and continue to grow and learn more.
Clearly there must be a reason that we are not told things straight up at the start. Why? Besides the points I’ve already talked about, you can be sure that I’m not telling.