Letters from a Pastor to His People- September 23, 2018
In the Gospel of Mark there is a motif known as the "Messianic Secret." Jesus desires his identity as the Messiah to remain hidden. We saw it in last weekend's Gospel, when Peter calls Jesus 'the Christ." The Gospel reads immediately afterwards, "Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him" (Mk 8:30).
Jesus keeps quiet in the Gospel this week as well. "Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it" (Mk 9:30).
Why did Jesus not want people to know who he truly was? It seems odd, doesn't it? I mean, we wouldn't today tell people not to talk about Christ. In fact, just the opposite. We want people to tell the world about the Lord.
I won't go into all the reasons for the Messianic Secret. The best explanation I recall reading is that Jesus wanted the people to fall in love with him. Jesus did not want people to be swept up in the grandeur of the 'Messiah.' If people knew who Jesus was, from a title and functional standpoint, before they came to know him as a person, they may not have authentically been attracted to him.