“It seems logical to begin with ‘Messiah,’ since the Christian church owes its name to the Greek equivalent Christos, the ‘Anointed One.’ The Hebrew word relates to the deliverer figure whom the Jews awaited and who would be God’s agent in the inauguration of a new age for God’s people.
Both the Hebrew and the Greek terms are derived from roots meaning ‘to anoint.’ Evidently, by calling Him ‘Christ,’ the New Testament writers regarded Jesus as specially set aside for a particular task.
“The title Christos occurs more than 500 times in the NT. Although there was more than one concept of Messiahship among Jesus’ contemporaries, it is generally recognized that by the first century Jews had come to look on the Messiah as someone in a special relationship with God. He would usher in the end of the age, when the kingdom of God would be established. He was the one through whom God would break through into history for the deliverance of His people. Jesus accepted the title ‘Messiah,’ but did not encourage its use; for the term carried political overtones that made its use difficult. Though reluctant to avail Himself of it in public to describe His mission, Jesus rebuked neither Peter (Matt. 16:16-17) nor the Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26) for using it. He knew Himself to be the Messiah, as seen in Mark’s report of Jesus’ words about giving one of His disciples a cup of water ‘because you bear the name of Christ’ (Mark 9:41).”-The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 12, p. 165.