Jesus is the Messiah King
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a child of God…” 1 John 5: 1
As Christians we know that our faith is very important. We know that we are accepted by God as a result of our faith, and not by any of our own righteous actions or accomplishment, rather the acceptance and forgiveness by God for our past transgressions is an act of mercy and grace on His part.
We are also told in the book of James in the Bible that our faith needs to be a “living” faith. More specifically, if our faith is not producing in us good works, or acts of love, than our faith is dead and will not gain us acceptance with God.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith same him? [the implied answer is no] If a brother or sister is ill –clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” James 2: 14 – 17
Additionally, it is very important that we understand the specifics of our faith. We must be clear about what we believe specifically; for example, we must know the object of our faith and we must consider the implication that our faith has on our actions and world view. For example, is it enough for us to just believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure that existed in the past? A person can say, “I believe in Jesus”, but this is insufficient to gain acceptance by God if they mean that they just believe that He was a real person from the past. James addressed a similar issue of faith in this verse:
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder.” James 2: 19
This may come as a surprise for some Christians, but it is also insufficient to just believe that Jesus died for your sins on the cross. Of course we must believe both of these truths: that He existed in the past and that He died for our sins, but there is much more that must be a part of our core beliefs as Christians.
The Bible clearly states that the core of what we need to believe as Christians is that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And, we must understand the implications of this. Let’s look into this deeper.
The word “Christ” and the word “Messiah” both mean “Anointed One” and are therefore interchangeable. The word “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew “Messiah” and therefore you can replace the word “Messiah” anywhere in the Bible where the word “Christ” is used.
Throughout the Bible, the physical act of pouring oil on someone, or anointing them with oil, was symbolic of the spiritual anointing from God, giving them the power or “anointing” of God’s Spirit. For example, God instructed the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as king of Israel (1 Samuel 15: 1) and also told Samuel to anoint David, as a young boy, to be the future King to replace Saul (1 Samuel 16: 3, 12). These men then had the Spirit of God resting upon them as they fulfilled their role as King (unless, as in Saul’s case, the anointing of the Spirit was removed).
More specifically though, the Old Testament prophets had foretold of a future Messiah, or one anointed with God’s Spirit who was sent by God and who was the Son of God. The Messiah was also foretold to be the one who would restore the kingdom of God and be the anointed as the King and Lord of this kingdom. (You can do a search online to see the many Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah.)
The Scriptures clearly present Jesus as the Messiah and it is also clear that Jesus emphasizes the important of believing that He was the Messiah. Consider the following Scriptures:
At His birth:
“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord.’ “ Luke 2: 10-11
At the calling of some of the Apostles:
“One of the two who heard John (the Baptist) speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ).” John 1: 40 – 41
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,’…[and later]…Nathanael answered Him [Jesus], ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ “ John 1: 40, 41, 45, 49
At the raising of Lazarus from the dead, talking to Martha:
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.’ “ John 11: 25-27
The Apostle John’s closing statements about the purpose of his writing the Gospel of John:
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20: 30 – 31
We see from the Scriptures also that the major objection of the religious leaders and Pharisees at the time of Jesus death was the fact that Jesus was being accepted as the anointed Son of God, the Messiah and King of Israel.
“Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ (Messiah), a King.” Luke 23: 1-2
We also see from the book of 1 John that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah is the antichrist:
“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah)? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” 1 John 2: 22
And so, why is this important? This is important because we must realize that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and is alive today. He has been established and anointed as the King of heaven, the King of God’s Kingdom. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords.
“Which He accomplished in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and make Him sit at His right hand in heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and He has put all things under His feet and has made Him head over all things for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1: 20 – 23
When we are baptized, as a profession of our faith, we are united with Jesus in His death, also dying to the kingdom of this world. When we rise up out of the water we are also united with Him in His resurrection and share with Him a place in His Kingdom. We should recognize ourselves as current citizens of heaven awaiting the return of King Jesus to re-establish His kingdom here on earth, creating a new earth.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3: 1
As such, we are, even now, under the kingship and lordship of the Messiah King – Jesus Christ. This is why we say that He is our Lord. The implication is that we must follow His rules and commandments, the regulations of His kingdom. We must also honor Him as King. This submission to His commandments and homage to His position as King should have a profound impact on our lives, changing our actions and attitudes.
It is a good thing for us to believe that Jesus was a real person who walked this earth over 2000 years ago, healing the sick and raising the dead, and to also believe that He died on the cross to pay the price for our redemption for our offenses against a Holy God. It is also good to believe that He was raised from the dead by the power of God. We must recognize, though, that Jesus did these acts as the Messiah, the Anointed One sent by God to fulfill His promise, and to establish God’s Kingdom, and who sits now as King and Lord, and who will return to destroy this world and establish a new heaven and earth, and who will judge the living and dead according to their works. We must allow the reality of these truths to sink into our souls and impact our view of reality. We must consider the full implications of Jesus being the Messiah King.
Unfortunately, in our western culture, we don’t have a good concept of how to honor a King. We have a president, but we see him as just another part of our governmental leadership, part of the balance of power. Especially today, it is apparent that we don’t know how to honor a king by the way that our media speaks of the person in office, as well as the way many people on the opposing political party speak of the president.
I believe that our culture sees it as a weakness for someone to submit and recognize a supreme authority and to honor such a position. Perhaps only in the military is such honor given to authority, and for many, this is seen as wrong or weak. Instead it is seen as a virtue when we question authority and function ultimately under our own authority. As Christians we must remove this from our thinking.
In summary, we as Christians must recognize that our faith should include the belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed King. We are also required to consider ourselves as citizens of the Kingdom of heaven, where Jesus resides as King, and submit fully to His laws as obedient subjects, fully accepting His reign over us. We should also be awaiting His return to establish His kingdom here among us, and to separate the good from the evil, establishing His righteous kingdom forever. On that last day when Jesus returns, all those who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah and King, having their name written in the Lamb’s book of life by faith in Him, and who have obeyed the laws of His kingdom, and have honored Him as Lord and King, will be accepted into His eternal kingdom.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ ” Revelation 21: 1-4
I look forward with heightened anticipation for that day of His return!