The Anointing of David
The second thing we confess in the second article of The Apostles' Creed is that Jesus is the Christ. Of course, Christ is not Jesus' last name, it is a title. Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ in Mark 8:27-29....
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others, one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."The following graffiti was found on the wall of St. John's University....
Jesus said unto them: "Who do you say I am?" And they replied: "You are the eschatalogical manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationships." And Jesus said, "What?"Thankfully, Peter did not respond to Jesus' question that way. But what does it mean to confess Jesus as the Christ? Jesus is his name; Christ is his title or office. The Greek word Christ comes from the Hebrew Messiah which means anointed one. In the Hebrew Scriptures there were at least three different types of people who were anointed with oil and thereby set apart for God's work. Prophets, priests, and kings were all "anointed ones". By confessing Jesus as the Christ we are confessing him to be our great prophet, high priest, and king.
Jesus is our great prophet in that he both is and declares God's word to us. The Apostle John says of him, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
Jesus clearly claimed to be a prophet when he applied Isaiah's prophecy to himself....
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the line,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. (Luke 4:18-19)An anonymous author made this striking comparison:
Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of antiquity.Given all that the New Testament tells us about Jesus, we must face and answer questions such as these: Have we accepted Jesus the Christ as God's revelation to us? Do we accept the words that come from him or are his words drowned out by the myriad of other voices that are speaking in our world today? There is only one great teacher, generally recognized by the world as wise and morally upright, who claims to have come direct to us from God and who has also experienced all of the same kinds of trials and suffering that we experience in this world. This teacher offers us an authoritative alternative to confusion, loneliness, and despair.
His name is Jesus and Christians confess him to be the Christ.