On the Enigmaty of Jesus

Jesus garbed His full identity as God in mystery upon mystery. He admonished those who recognized His divinity to remain silent about it. It is astounding that God Incarnate, the promised Messiah of old, would not shout his arrival to reign as King from the rooftops! Furthermore, He could have gone to much greater effort in asserting His divinity, particularly to His detractors. He could have simply come to Earth and lived conspicuously as God, and dispelled all doubt as to His identity and mission.

But He didn't. Why must this be?

Jesus and Paul both answer this question bluntly. It is so that those who otherwise would not have faith indeed would not believe and be saved. He would by no means cast the Pearl of Great Price before faithless swine. The terms he specified for eternal life with Him are singular: complete, simple faith. "Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed."

So the reluctance so pervasive in the Gospel accounts of Jesus' self-disclosure of His identity is not to surprise us, much less cause us to question His complete divinity. Rather, it communicates fully the terms on which humans may come to Him for eternal life, which Paul later elucidates so starkly and pervasively.

"And he said to them, 'To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that 'they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven''" (Mark 4:11-12).

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