What is the Messianic Secret? Why did Jesus repeatedly forbid people He interacted with from telling everyone about Him?
To answer this question, we must consider the following facts:
At least two reasons for such a prohibition manifest themselves:
Only after the completion of the redemption plan would Jesus restore the kingdom to Israel
To His disciples, Jesus taught that He would suffer at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed and be raised on the third day. This was to ensure that the disciples were on the same page as Jesus about His Messianic mission.
All through the Gospels, we see Jesus performing miracles in the Gentile territory as well (Mark 5:1-20). After healing the demon-possessed man, Jesus told him to spread the word about the great works of the Lord to his family and friends. And that was because the Gentiles, although they desired independence from Rome, were not expecting a Messiah from the Jews to be their Saviour.
Besides, Jesus was not as famous among the Gentiles as He was among the Jews. The situation changed in Mark 7:31- 37, where Jesus charged them to tell no one. Within the span of a few months, His popularity had soared. People living in Tyre and Sidon had started gaining awareness of Jesus’ title—the Son of David (Matthew 15:22).
Jesus’ decision to keep His mission a secret suggests how focused we need to be on the specific calling that God has given us. We should not let anything hinder us from pursuing God’s call for our lives—no matter how good it seems.
The desire to be well-known is one we all have, especially in the digital era we live in. Self-projection is the norm in the world. But the greatness of the tasks at hand should not mean that we run behind cheap publicity. Jesus, who was on the greatest mission ever, teaches us this truth by example. He chose to remain lowkey; perhaps something for us to watch and learn.
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