Messianic Secret

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Q & A

Shawn from Facebook: "A week ago the gospel was about the healing of a leper. In the gospel, they made a point of telling us Jesus said after the healing, that he NOT TELL ANYONE of this, yet the healed leper went out and spread the word far and wide. The question I cant seem to get a answer for is. Jesus must have known after he healed him he would spread the word of the miracle, so what would be the point of telling him to be quiet?"
1.) Should God not tell us what He wants, even though He knows we will disobey Him? Should God stop saying that murder or adultery are wrong because "many people commit murders and many engage in adultery"? Should God not have said to Adam and Eve, "Do not eat from that tree" because He knew they would? My own answer is "no."
2.) Jesus' command not to publicize the healing unnecessarily reveals things about Jesus to us. I argue that the historical reason for the "Messianic Secret" (of which this is one small part) was based on the insight that when the Romans determined that Jesus was being called "the Christ" (which means "the man anointed to be the King of the Jews"), they would crucify Him. That is, in fact, what happened. By asking people not to talk about His miracles or about the fact that He was the Christ, the King, it gave Him more time to spend with His disciples, preparing them for His death and resurrection.
3.) The time for telling the whole world that "Jesus is the Christ" is AFTER His ascension into glory, not before His saving work on the Cross. None of the people healed or delivered by Jesus could have gotten the story straight, because their understanding of what it meant to be "the Messiah" (Greek: "the Christ") would be determined by the stories of David and Solomon rather than by Jesus' priestly work of self-sacrifice on the Cross. David and Solomon were warrior kings who won battles against human enemies by wounding and killing them; Jesus is a warrior king who won the war against sin and death by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead.
4.) The recipients of miracles often show their misunderstanding of the miracle by turning away from Jesus instead of becoming more closely united to Him. This is just one case of many in the gospels. The Holy Spirit may be giving us an example of how NOT to act when God blesses us by letting us see how self-centered enthusiasm can lead us away from God rather than toward Him.

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