Mark: the messianic secret
b What purpose could it serve?

A possible historical explanation: Jesus was misunderstood, or Jesus was not well known, which is seen as odd given what he did, so he must have told people not to talk about him.
A possible
narrative explanation: this creates a situation where we (the readers) know something people in the gospel don't - The identity of Jesus as Son of God. See the next topic.

b Basic data

1:24-25 Jesus rebukes an unclean spirit who called Jesus "the Holy One of God."
1:34 Jesus will not permit the demons to speak because they know him.
1:43-5 Jesus tells a lepor he has healed to say nothing to anyone; the man disobeys.
3:12 Jesus orders unclean spirits not to make Jesus known.
5:43 Jesus orders people who've seen him heal a little girl not to tell about the healing.
7:36 Jesus orders those who saw him heal a deaf mute not to tell anyone; they disobey.
8:26 Jesus tells a man he cured of blindness to go home rather than into the village.
8:30 Jesus orders the disciples not to tell anyone about him after Peter says Jesus is the messiah.
9:9 Jesus orders disciples not to tell anyone about the Transfiguration until after Jesus rose from the dead.

Last updated 2/28/07; first posted 5/6/00; original content © 2007 2000 John P. Nordin