Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 8:27-30

And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. (v. 30)

Scholars call it the “Messianic Secret,” and you do not need to read much of Mark’s Gospel to detect this theme. Every time someone identifies Jesus as God’s Christ, as the Messiah, Jesus shushes them. Sometimes the demons recognized him, sometimes someone else did. In Mark 8 Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Messiah.

Yet every time, Jesus said, “Shhh!” Why? If you are the Messiah, wouldn’t it be to your advantage to let folks know? Who goes into business but refuses to print up business cards, build a Web site, take out advertisements, and do any number of other things to get the word out about who you are and what you offer? That sounds like a formula for failure.

Yet Jesus keeps his identity a secret. Except for one time. It happened at the cross right after Jesus died. A soldier declared Jesus to be the Son of God, and no one told him to keep that under wraps. Why? Because once Jesus died, the meaning of “Messiah” was finally clear. The Messiah came to suffer and sacrifice himself for others. Most people wanted the Messiah to be a king, to be powerful, to make war against Rome. Rather than let people try to turn him into something he was not, Jesus kept his identity quiet. You had to stick with Jesus to the end before you could start to declare him as the Christ.

—Scott Hoezee

Jesus, you gave up yourself for others. Help us as disciples to live for others, too.