The Lord saw this, or something of this kind, and was not satisfied. He had wanted to give the man something so much better than a pure skin, and had only roused in him an unseemly delight in his own cleanness—unseemly, for it was such that he paid no heed to the Lord, but immediately disobeyed his positive command. The moral position the man took was that which displeased the Lord, made him angry. He saw in him positive and rampant self-will and disobedience, an impertinent assurance and self-satisfaction. Filled, not with pure delight, or the child-like merriment that might well burst forth, mingled with tears, at such deliverance; filled, not with gratitude, but gratification, the keener that he had been so long an object of loathing to his people; filled with arrogance because of the favor shown to him, of all men, by the great prophet, and swelling with boast of the same, he left the presence of the healer to thwart his will, and commanded to tell no man, at once “began”—the frothy, volatile, talking soul—“to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was without in desert places.”
by James House
Ah! - the perils of pride, of self-satisfaction, of the desire for the praise of others, of trusting in one's self! They lead us on the majority of the paths that run away from our Father. We are universally prone to these faults, and are therefore variously distant from our Father.
Our Lord's displeasures have only and everything to do with the choices that keep our heart from drawing closer to him. And His joys have root in our becoming more like him.
God has created us with the potential (and purpose) to progress in true joy, in true esteem, in true faith and trust. We take a step in that progress with every obedience to His Word. Let us serve Him that we may find that joy and confidence that comes from giving Him pleasure in us!
"Nothing is so ruinous to progress in which effort is needful, as satisfaction with apparent achievement; that ever sounds a halt;" (from Thomas Wingfold, Curate)
"Could Diamond have had greater praise or greater pleasure?
You see when he forgot his Self his mother took care of his Self, and loved and praised his Self.
Our own praises poison our Selves, and puff and swell them up, till they lose all shape and beauty, and become like great toadstools.
But the praises of father or mother do our Selves good, and comfort them and make them beautiful. They never do them any harm. If they do any harm, it comes of our mixing some of our own praises with them, and that turns them nasty and slimy and poisonous." (from At the Back of the Northwind)
"But Mary had not come into the world to be sad or to help another to be sad. Sorrowful we may often have to be, but to indulge in sorrow is either not to know or to deny God our Saviour. ... but he is a poor Christian indeed in whom joy has not at least a growing share." (from Mary Marston)
"Unhappy men were we, if God were the God of the perfected only, and not of the growing, the becoming!" (from The Hope of the Gospel)
"For the peace of your soul serve God so, that, by the time you are my age, you may be sure of Him. I try hard to put my trust in Him, but my faith is weak. It ought by this time to have been strong. I always want to see the way He is leading me—to understand something of what He is doing with me or teaching me, before I can accept His will, or get my heart to consent not to complain. It makes me very unhappy." (from Paul Faber, Surgeon)