Saturday, February 11, 2006

messianic secret?

today i've been working on a short paper about the book of mark, and thinking about why in the world he would make it seem like the kingdom of God and believing in jesus is so hush-hush! most of the time when he shows jesus healing someone he tells them not to tell anyone. and he tells parables, according to mark, so that people won't understand.

is mark doing this to explain why the jews didn't recognize jesus as the messiah? is he doing this, like the gnostics liked to think, because there is some sort of secret which was only imparted to a few people? did he write this way to dare people to look for the truth behind the parables?

it is this last that i think is true--when reading through mark lately for my class i've been struck by how curious it makes me, how i want to sit around thinking about what the parables mean (because they're not explained), how i wonder who this jesus really was and why he wouldn't want people to know him as the christ.

i think maybe mark presents it this way because he wants people to have to wrestle with discovering the truth, to think hard, to let their ears and eyes be opened with those of the blind and deaf, to be able to see and hear the truth hidden in the "good news" of jesus. what is the good news? what does it mean that God called him the son of God, that he called himself the son of man, that his apostles called him the christ, that demons called him son of God, that people called him teacher but didn't understand his teaching...

tantalizing, isn't it? (or maybe i'm just a nerd! =)

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