Why did Jesus deny himself as his ministry began?

So when we read through the gospels,right after John the baptist baptised Jesus we see him saying the kingdom of God has come near. Repent believe, the good news (Mark 1.15). Which is a proclamation of what is to come. He then starts to preach and do miracles but doesn’t want anyone to say who he is. Why does it take so long for him to tell people he is the messiah. An act that eventually puts him on the cross. I don’t really think he’s denying himself but it is strange that he almost seems to be hiding who he is.

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Hi @Michael_Ryan, such a great question. Many scholars called it The Messianic Secret.

The simple answer is Jesus wanted to respect the divine timing of His revelation as the messiah. Hence, He kept reminding His disciples or people He healed to remain silent.

But why?

In order to understand, we need to learn the historical context of the day. Many Jews were actually eagerly waiting for the prophesied Messiah. But they had a different expectation of the Messiah to be a political savior.

In fact, the Jews til today, disqualified Jesus as the Messiah, because there was no political victory for Israel nor did Jesus gather the Jews back to Israel (Isa 43:5-6) nor brought universal peace (Isa 2:4) nor build a temple (Ezk 37:26-28), nor free the Jews from Roman oppression (Luke 24:21).

There is also another very crucial historical factor. About 100yrs before Jesus, a gladiator named Spartacus (yes, the Russel Crowe’s Gladiator movie), sparked a slave rebellion. It took the Roman empire 3 years to suppress the revolt, and 6,000 slaves were crucified as a result. Not forgetting, among the Jews were the Zealots, a radical rebel group, looking to expel the Romans from the Holy Lands.

So Jesus was indeed living in a very sensitive political period, the moment He’d establish His reputation as Messiah before the right time, and it could incite the Zealots to act and the Romans to take pre-emptive measures to prevent another unwanted uprising. Worst case scenario, a genocide of thousands of Jews can take place and Jesus would have failed His mission horribly. He came to give His life for mankind, not for men to give theirs in the name of the Messiah (for political revolt).

In conclusion: They weren’t ready for a spiritual savior. Hence Jesus held back til it’s time. Otherwise, the Christian movement would have been obliterated before it could even began.

Hope that helps, Michael. Happy New Year. Blessings

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Hello Michael I agree with Roy and His answer. Welcome to this forum so glad you are here. Scripture old testament taught both about a conquering King and a suffering servant. Which is more appealing to a besieged Isael looking for thier freedom? Thank you Roy for that answer I also appreciate how you worded it.
Mike

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Thx @mgaplus4. That’s the key terms i should have used: conquering king and suffering servant.

The Jews wanted an immediate politically conquering king and they believed that Isaiah 53 referred to Israel as the suffering servant, not Jesus.

So only after His suffering during crucifixion and conquering through the resurrection did Jesus finally revealed His messiahship, first at the road to Emmaus.

Luke 24:25-27 NLT
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

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AMEN thank you Jesus!!!

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Wow thanks for that. Really helpful and love the scriptural references

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