Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jesus, the Anointed One

But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15–16).

Today I would like to make a brief excursion out of Luke’s gospel and reflect on the majesty of the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Once Jesus asked the disciples what people were saying about Him. Some thought He was Elijah come again, while others thought He was one of the other prophets. The disciples, however, because of their close relationship to Him, recognized Him as the Christ.

We are so used to hearing the name “Jesus Christ” that sometimes we think “Christ” was His last name. Actually, Jesus’ full Jewish name would have been Jesus bar Joseph, Jesus son of Joseph. The word Christ is actually a title, the Greek equivalent of the Jewish word Messiah. It means “Anointed One”: Jesus the Anointed One.

For centuries the Jews had been looking for the Messiah. The history of the Jews had been one tragedy after another. For a brief time under David and Solomon, they had enjoyed a day in the sun, with a glorious king on a glorious throne in a glorious city at the center of the world. Soon, however, their sins brought the kingdom to ruin, and though there had been some good times since then, the kingdom had never been restored. Someday, though, a son of David would arise who would restore the kingdom to Israel. Such was their hope.

When Jesus came on the scene. He did not identify Himself as the Messiah. When Jesus did His mighty miracles, the crowd tried to make Him king, but Jesus walked away. Every time someone talked to Jesus about being the Messiah, He avoided the topic.

So Jesus looked at Peter who said, “We know who you are. Despite what others think, we know you are the Christ.” Jesus then pronounced His benediction on Peter saying, “Blessed are you because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in Heaven. He has allowed you to see this.”

It was because Simon Peter and the other disciples were close to Jesus that they recognized Him as the Christ. Make every effort to draw near to Christ so your confession will also express the profound awe of being in His presence.