Consider the Claims of Christ this Christmas: “I am he” (the Messiah)

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ)“is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4: 25-26 (NIV)

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:29 (NIV

To those who were not raised in the Jewish tradition, the term Messiah may have no significant meaning. Simply translated it means ‘anointed.’ In the Old Testament, when someone was anointed they were consecrated or ordained for some special occupation—often as a king or priest—and oil was poured over their head.

Through his prophets, God promised to send the chosen and consecrated Messiah to his people to save them and set up a divine and everlasting kingdom. Oppressed by one conquerer after another, the Jews longed for their priest/king to come and save them.

They expected a hero, a superman, a high priest, a king—Jesus was not what they had anticipated despite the prophesies his birth and childhood fulfilled. (Isaiah 7:14/Matthew 1:23; Micah 5:2/Matthew 2:6; Jeremiah 31:15/Matthew 2:18; Hosea 11:1/Matthew 2:15; etc.)

But there were Jews who recognized the characteristics and authority of the Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth. They spent time with Jesus, listened to his teaching, were amazed by the miracles he performed. And when he died and was resurrected on the third day, they were convinced beyond all doubt.

Jesus claims to be the chosen Messiah of God, not just for Jews but for all people. He came to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom to the captive, sight to the blind, light to those walking in darkness, eternal life to those facing death.

The journey to faith remains the same as it was for his first disciples: spend time with him in prayer, listen to his teaching in the Bible, look for his miracles in your life, and let his Spirit confirm the truth in your heart.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

  • Messiah, (from Hebrew mashiaḥ, “anointed”), in Judaism, the expected king of the Davidic line who would deliver Israel from foreign bondage and restore the glories of its golden age. The Greek New Testament’s translation of the term, Christos, became the accepted Christian designation and title of Jesus of Nazareth

“Messiah.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 

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