Wednesday: Jesus as the Messiah

As we saw earlier, one of the crucial turning points in Jesus’ earthly ministry was when, in response to a question about who He was, Peter answered: “‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Matt. 16:16, NKJV).

Come unto Me

Image © Lars Justinen

The word Christ (christos in Greek) means the “anointed,” the “Messiah”; in Hebrew it is mashiyach. It came from a root word that means “to anoint,” and it was used in various contexts in the Old Testament. (It was even used in one place to point to a pagan king, Cyrus [see Isa. 45:1].) Thus, when Peter called Jesus the Christ, he was using a word that expresses an ideal derived from the Hebrew Scriptures.

Read the following texts from the Old Testament that use the word Messiah or anointed. What does the context teach us about what it means? How might Peter have understood what it meant when he called Jesus the Messiah?

Ps. 2:2

Ps. 18:50

Dan. 9:25

1 Sam. 24:6

Isa. 45:1

Though Peter had been inspired by the Lord to declare Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 16:16-17), there’s no question that he didn’t fully understand what this meant. He didn’t understand who exactly the Messiah was, what He was to accomplish, and, perhaps most important, how He would accomplish it.

In that lack of understanding, Peter was not alone. There were many different ideas in Israel about the Messiah. In and of themselves, the uses of the word Messiah or anointed in the above texts don’t present a full picture, however much they might foreshadow what the Messiah would ultimately be and do.

John 7:42 reveals some of what was expected of the Messiah: He would be descended from David, from the town of Bethlehem (Isa. 11:1-16, Mic. 5:2). That part they got right. In the popular imagination, however, a Messiah from the line of David would do what David did: defeat the enemies of the Jews. What no one expected was a Messiah who would be crucified by the Romans.

Of course, by the time he wrote his epistles, Peter more clearly understood Jesus as the Messiah (He is called Jesus Christ 15 times in 1 and 2 Peter) and all that He would accomplish for humanity.



Wednesday: Jesus as the Messiah — 6 Comments

  1. Good focus points! It will be the study of eternity, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One! Peter did not grasp it and neither do we - it is eternity's lesson plan!

  2. Jesus as the Messiah the annointed one. If you are a Christian you know the biblical answer or definition.

    Perhaps we don't emphasize

    1 Corinthians 1
    21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

    In Christ we are annointed to experience the deliverance from sin (John 8:31 - 36)
    Have you experienced the deliverance in Christ?
    How have you been able to share the experience with others?

  3. The apostle peter did not fully understand that Jesus, by dying on the cross, would also fulfill the antitype as the sanctuary daily sacrificed lamb and the once a year sacrificed Passover lamb and the once a year day of atonement sacrificed bullock and lord's goat.

  4. This hymn by A. H. Ackley sums up the significance of Jesus, coming as Messiah to save me and all who would believe:

    I serve a risen Savior
    He’s in the world today.
    I know that He is living,
    Whatever men may say.
    I see His hand of mercy;
    I hear His voice of cheer;
    And just the time I need Him
    He’s always near.

    He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
    He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
    He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
    You ask me how I know He lives?
    He lives within my heart.

    You may listen and view lyrics in entirety on
    Enjoy and have a blessed day!

  5. Without the spirit of God we can't understand Him (Jesus) His love and kindness and we can't even forgive those who wrong to us and make peace with them.Sometimes we wondered how we overcome other situations.We need to accept Him in our lives and He will take care about other things we cannot afford.

  6. The declaration by Peter that Jesus was Christ, the Son of the Living God, was not the end of it. We need to read further because in the next couple of verses, Jesus gives Peter a task and a responsibility. That same responsibility falls to everyone who accepts that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.

    Often we fall short of our responsibility of living the Gospel and merely talk about it. And sharing means living it. You do not preach the Gospel by singing "Jesus songs" inside church and then going out and living selfishly.

    "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13: 35


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