Written by Rev. Nicholas Davelaar
Published in the Courier of Russellville, Arkansas on August 21, 2015
A couple weeks ago my mom told me the news: an uncle of mine was moving back to Iowa.
He’s apparently done well in the corporation he’s worked for the past couple decades. The head shed noticed, and asked him to consider moving to take a position with increased responsibility.
Of course, that also means he’ll have some great, new job title.
Roughly twenty men and women would like American voters to do much the same for them come next November. Each of them is working to be noticed and eventually elected to the chief executive position in our country.
To put it differently, each of these men and women is hoping to bear the title: ‘President of the United States.’
Along the same lines, Jesus of Nazareth has a title: Christ.
Contrary to what some people assume, that’s not Jesus’ last name, but rather a proper title, the title of his position. As we hear near the end of the gospel according to John, everything in that book was written “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.”
The question, then, is what does that title mean? And why does Jesus bear it?
As some readers may know, ‘Christ’ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew ‘Messiah’, meaning ‘anointed’. In the Old Testament God promised his people a Messiah, an Anointed One, meaning uniquely set apart and qualified, yet for what purpose?
In a nutshell, God promised his people a Messiah who would be their chief prophet (Deut 18:15), only high priest (Ps 110:4), and eternal king (Zech 9:9).
Does Jesus fit that description? Is he the Messiah? Was he and is he still uniquely set apart and qualified to be the Christ?
The answer of the New Testament is a resounding yes.
In Acts 3 Peter proclaimed that he is the chief prophet who would perfectly reveal to us the will of God for our salvation.
In Hebrews 7 we hear that Jesus is also the only high priest.
The writer of Hebrews later went on to explain that only Jesus could and would set sinners free by the one sacrifice of his body. Likewise, only Jesus could and would continually plead their cause before God the Father.
Lastly, the first part of Matthew 21 connects the dots for us so that we might also see that he is the eternal king God promised his people.
Jesus is the king who would guard and keep his people, as he himself made clear when he said this about his people, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
In short, Jesus bears the title ‘Christ’ because he is the Christ. He is the promised Messiah, the promised prophet, priest, and king.
Do you acknowledge and trust in him as such? If not, why not? Or if so, how does your everyday life reflect your trust in him as your prophet, priest, and king?
Think about that.
For further study, read Luke 4:14-19.