It’s nearly impossible to keep something a secret in our house. If I mention to the kids that they need not to tell Lauren what they’ve gotten her for a present, one of the two of them will immediately run toward her to spill the beans about whatever it is that we’ve purchased for her. While this kind of secret-sharing truly only ruins a bit of the surprise for Lauren on a holiday, it points us toward the reality that was best explained by Benjamin Franklin when he wrote, “Three people can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”
As Jesus and some of his disciples came down from the mountain where he had been transfigured, the Messiah commanded his followers to not share this vision with anyone until after the resurrection. This seems a strange command for Him to have made; after all, we should want to share the good news about Jesus with people. Yet in that moment, Jesus’ command had a different goal than trying to keep who and what he was a secret. His goal was to ensure that humanity would not attempt to step in the way of God’s plan.
If the disciples had spread the word, the people of Judea would have attempted to crown Jesus as a king, while the religious leaders of the time would have looked for ways to show this event as blasphemous (according to their understanding of the time). Jesus’ kingship was not one that was focused on a nation of this world but rather on the Kingdom of God, yet the people of his time wanted a king who would overthrow the Roman occupiers and return their country to the glories seen under King David. Jesus’ religious authority came directly from God, while the religious leaders of Israel sought to maintain their control by exerting their understanding of God’s Will.