The Messianic secret (Mk 3:12-3:12)

“Jesus sternly ordered them

Not to make him known.”

 

καὶ πολλὰ ἐπετίμα αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ αὐτὸν φανερὸν ποιήσωσιν.

 

Mark said that Jesus strictly or sternly ordered, rebuked, chided, warned or admonished these unclean spirits (καὶ πολλὰ ἐπετίμα αὐτοῖς) that they should not make it known that he was the Son of God (ἵνα μὴ αὐτὸν φανερὸν ποιήσωσιν).  This warning about the messianic secret can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Jesus, in some ironic way, did not want the people to know that he was the Messiah, the Christ, or the Son of God.  Thus, the name “Jesus Christ” did not take hold until after his death and resurrection.  Only these unclean spirits and a few elite followers of Jesus knew that he was the Christ messiah, the Son of God, much like a gnostic special knowledge.  Somehow, Jesus had power over these unclean spirits.

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They did not believe John the Baptist (Mt 21:32-21:32)

“John came to you

In the way of righteousness.

You did not believe him.

But the tax collectors

And the prostitutes

Believed him.

Even after you saw it,

You did not change your mind.

You did not believe him.”

 

ἦλθεν γὰρ Ἰωάνης πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ὁδῷ δικαιοσύνης, καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐπίστευσαν αὐτῷ· ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰδόντες οὐδὲ μετεμελήθητε ὕστερον τοῦ πιστεῦσαι αὐτῷ.

 

This saying about John the Baptist is unique to Matthew, based on his continual emphasis on the role of John the Baptist.  However, there is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 7:29-30, but within another context.  Jesus used the example of John the Baptist who had come to them in his righteousness way (ἦλθεν γὰρ Ἰωάνης πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ὁδῷ δικαιοσύνης).  They had not believed him (καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ), but the Roman tax collectors and the prostitutes had believed him (οἱ δὲ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐπίστευσαν αὐτῷ).  Even after they saw John (ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰδόντες), they did not change their minds, or repent (οὐδὲ μετεμελήθητε ὕστερον), or believe in him (πιστεῦσαι αὐτῷ).  Jesus chided them for their rejection of John the Baptist.

Eliphaz speaks to Job (Job 4:1-4:6)

“Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered.

‘If one ventures a word with you,

Will you be offended?

But who can keep from speaking?

See!

You have instructed many.

You have strengthened the weak hands.

Your words have supported those who were stumbling.

You have made firm the feeble knees.

But now it has come to you.

You are impatient.

It touches you.

You are dismayed.

Is not your fear of God your confidence?

Is not the integrity of your ways your hope?’”

Now finally, someone other than Job speaks. Eliphaz the Temanite, who was one of his 3 friends, felt that he was forced to speak. Although he did not want to offend Job, he started out gently. He will represent the traditional opinion of retribution that God was punishing Job for something that he had done. Eliphaz reminded Job that he had instructed many people. Using beautiful metaphors, he said that Job had strengthened the weak, supported the stumbling, and firmed up the feeble. However, now the problems have come to Job. Suddenly Job was impatient. Where was his confidence in God? Where was his hope based on his integrity? Eliphaz chided Job for being impatient and not trusting in God.