Jesus is often called the Messiah, but what does that name mean? And why is
this name an important title for Jesus?
“Messiah” means Anointed One in Hebrew. It was later translated
as “Christ” in Greek. So, when people call themselves Christians, they are
calling themselves followers of Christ, the Anointed One.
Anointing was a sign of kingship and honor in the Old Testament. For
example, the prophet Samuel anointed David because God had chosen him to be
king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:13). The pouring of oil on someone’s head was a
sign that set that person apart for service.
Being the Anointed One means that Jesus is the Savior God promised
throughout the Old Testament. He is the king who rules over all of creation
and who frees all people who put their trust in Him. But what does He free
In Jesus’s day, the Israelites thought that, as king, Jesus would free them
immediately from the oppression of the Roman empire. Although Jesus did not
free them in the way they expected, He did free the Israelites, and the
whole world, from the oppression of evil as manifested in our own sin
nature and our propensity to sin. How? By dying on the cross and rising
again three days later. This is good news: Jesus is the promised,
set-apart, sinless king who conquers sin and death! He is the Messiah, the
Anointed One. Naomi Zylstra
What does it mean that Jesus was anointed and set apart?
Since Jesus is king, how does that affect how we as Christians see Him?
To learn more about Jesus as king and what that means for all of us, check
out our “Know Jesus” page.
But what about you? he [Jesus] asked. Who do you say I am? Peter
answered, You are the Messiah. Mark 8:29 (NIV)