Jesus Is The Messiah

by: Bill Bratt


"Jesus is the Messiah". We have all heard this phrase, but what does it mean?

Websterís Dictionary defines the word: "Messiah" as: "the expected king and deliverer of the Jews"

The New Compact Bible Dictionary reveals to us the following: "Messiah (me-si'a, anointed one); the basic meaning of the Hebrew mashiah and the Greek Christos is "anointed one." In the Old Testament the word is used of prophets, priests, and kings who were consecrated to their office with oil. The expression "the Lord's anointed" and its equivalent is not used as a technical designation of the Messiah, but refers to the king of the line of David, ruling in Jerusalem, and anointed by the Lord through the priest. With the possible exception of Daniel 9:25, 26 the title "Messiah" as a reference to Israel's eschatological king does not occur in the Old Testament. It appears in this sense later in the New Testament, where He is almost always called "the Christ." The Old Testament pictures the Messiah as one who will put an end to sin and war and usher in universal righteousness and through His death will make vicarious atonement for the salvation of sinful men. The New Testament concept of the Messiah is developed directly from the teaching of the Old Testament. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah; He claimed to be and the claim was acknowledged by His disciples (Luke 4:18, 19; Acts 4:27; 10:38). (1)

Letís look at two of these verses: Luke 4:18 (NKJV) ""The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed."

Acts 10:38 (NKJV) ""how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

From these passages we can see that Jesus was "anointed" by God to preach the gospel, heal the sick and deliver them from the afflictions and oppressions of the devil.

The Word: Messiah

The word "Messiah" only occurs four times in the Bible. Letís look at these four occurrences: "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. {25} "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. {26} "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined" (Dan 9:24-26 NKJV).

Gabriel delivered this seventy weeks prophecy to Daniel (vs. 21). Notice in verse 24 "to anoint the Most Holy". Prophets, priests and kings were consecrated to their office by being anointed with oil. The "Most Holy" in this verse is referring to Jesus. Jesus is our High Priest and this verse is saying that Jesus will be "anointed and coronated" as our "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 17:14).

Verse 25 mentions the "command" which is referring to the decree of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, which was given to Ezra, permitting the rebuilding and restoration of Jerusalem (Ezra 7:1-26). The sixty nine weeks in this prophecy are prophetic weeks. You have to apply the "day for a year" principle from Numbers 14:34. You have to multiply 69 times 7 which equals 483 years. Now 483 years from the time that the decree of Artaxerxes went forth in 457 b.c. takes you to the time that Jesus Christ the Messiah began His public ministry.

Verse 26 states that Jesus, the Messiah, was "cut off", crucified and died for our sins after His 3-1/2 year ministry which was in the middle of the prophetic seventieth week (verse 27).

Verse 26 also says that the prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The Roman armies under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the sanctuary (the Temple) in 70 a.d.

This passage in Daniel is prophetic and describes Jesus as being the Messiah, the "anointed", the Prince. The third occurrence of the word "Messiah" in the Bible is in the New Testament: "One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him (Jesus), was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. {41} He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ)" (John 1:40-41 NKJV).

The Apostle John wants to make sure that we understand that Jesus is the Messiah, because he spells it out very clearly to us.

The last occurrence of the word "Messiah" is found in John chapter 4. Jesus is talking to the woman at the well who happens to be of Samaria. As this woman listened to Jesus, she began thinking of the coming Messiah and that He would teach us all things. "The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things"" (John 4:25 NKJV).

This expression "Messiah ... who is called Christ" is an expression that these two words mean the same thing. "Messiah" is the Hebrew word for "Godís Anointed One" and "Christ" is the equivalent word in Greek .

In Strongís Concordance #5547 the Greek word for Christ is: "Christos", and is defined as: "khris-tos'; from G5548; anointed, i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus:--Christ."

It is interesting to note that the word "Christ" is used 555 times in 522 verses of the King James Version of the Bible.

Messiah Foretold in the Old Testament

The title "Messiah," or the Greek Christos, connects Christ with the Old Testament prophecy of a coming Prophet (Deut. 18:15-18) and King (2 Sam. 7:12, 13).

The Old Testament prophesies of a coming prophet: ""The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, {16} "according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' {17} "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good. {18} 'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him" (Deu 18:15-18 NKJV).

The Old Testament prophesies of a coming king: "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom." {13} "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever" (2 Sam 7:12-13 NKJV).

Signs and Wonders Proclaim the Messiah

In Jesusí day, the Jewish leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees, expected Him to authenticate Himself with signs: "Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You"" (Mat 12:38 NKJV).

Jesus declared that His works were the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy: "So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. {17} And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: {18} "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; {19} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." {20} Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. {21} And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing"" (Luke 4:16-21 NKJV).

When John the Baptistís disciples asked whether Jesus was the "expected one" (the Messiah), Jesus did not answer directly, but pointed to His miracles as proof: "And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples {3} and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" {4} Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: {5} "The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (Mat 11:2-5 NKJV).

Jesusí meaning was clear. These were the signs of the Messiah as foretold by the prophet Isaiah: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. {6} Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert" (Isa 35:5-6 NKJV). Isaiah continues with the good news of salvation: ""The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn" (Isa 61:1-2 NKJV).

Messianic Strain in the Old Testament

The Old Testament was written to pave the way for the coming of Christ. Halleyís Bible Handbook (pages 387-401) lists 58 passages in the Old Testament which refers to the fore-shadows and predictions of the coming Messiah. 

In Conclusion: Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed, the Christ!


Footnotes: (1): "The New Compact Bible Dictionary",1967, p. 358.