Summary: Jesus paid an awful price to wear His mask for us. Are we willing to wear a mask for Him?
There is an old story called the magic mask. It is about a
powerful lord who ruled over a great domain who became so
hard and cruel that ugly lines deepened into his face. On a
tour of his country one day he saw a surprisingly beautiful
girl, and he longed to take her as his wife. But he was
appalled as he looked into the mirror and saw the hard and
cruel lines in his face. He could never win her love with such
a face, and so he called for a magician to make him a mask of
thin wax that would make him look kind and loving. The
artist agreed to do it if he promised to pray daily to the God
of love to change his heart and make him loving toward his
subjects. He said he would and the mask was made. The
lovely girl became his wife, and they enjoyed a remarkable
period of peace and prosperity. He became a truly loving
ruler, and the people marveled at the change in him.
He finally became so bothered by his deception of the wife
he loved so dearly that he begged the magician to remove the
magic mask. It was with fear and trembling that he then
went to the mirror. But to his delight he did not need the
mask any longer because the ugly lines on his face were gone.
His changed heart and spirit had changed his face, and he
had a loving face even without the mask.
We all have to wear a mask at times to hide the ugliness of
our negative spirit. If we let people see all that we are all of
the time, it would not be a pretty sight, and so we mask
ourselves and put on a good front that is pleasant and
acceptable. In contrast to many Halloween masks that are
put on to scare people with their grotesque faces, we put on a
mask to protect people from the real scariness in us. Only
God can see us totally naked in our soul and still love us. We
need to mask some of who we are to be acceptable on the
human level. So wearing a mask of some sort is very
The proof of this is that Jesus Himself, the sinless Son of
God, wore a mask. Jesus hid His identity as long as He
could, and did so in a very conspicuous manner. The first
thing we need to do to get to the bottom of this mystery of the
Master's mask is to establish that there is, in fact, a mystery.
Let's begin by looking at-
1. THE REALITY OF THE MASK.
The first hint we have of this mask is the encounter Jesus
has with the demonized man in the synagogue. When the
evil spirit in this man cried out at Jesus, "I know who you
are-the Holy One of God," Jesus did not say, "Speak up, this
is just the kind of publicity I need right now." Instead, He
said, "Be quiet!" Other translations have it, "Shut up!" He
stopped this positive testimony to His identity, and cast the
evil spirit out. Now if this was just an isolated incident we
could ignore it and not try to read anything into it of
significance. But this was just the beginning of a pattern
Notice verse 34: "And Jesus healed many of various
diseases. He also drove out many demons, but He would not
let the demons speak because they knew who He was." I can
see if He would not let them speak because they didn't know
what they were talking about, but it says He would not let
them because they did know what they were talking about.
The demons could identify Jesus, and so He stopped them,
for He was not ready to take off His mask and be known for
who He was.
Even two such mysterious incidents could be over looked
as a possible idiosyncrasy of Mark, but when we see Jesus
going out of His way many times to protect His identity, then
we have to face up to the reality of His mask. Look at verses
43-45. Jesus had just cured a man of leprosy. It was a
marvelous miracle, and one that could bring a lot of
publicity. But note the response of Jesus. "Jesus sent him
away at once with a strong warning." Note, it was not a
polite suggestion, it was a strong warning. And the warning
was, "See that you don't tell this to anyone."
You would think that whatever His reason for trying to
keep His identity a secret, that those whom He healed would
be grateful enough to cooperate with Him. But one of the