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Is Jesus Christ The Messiah?

John 4:16-30 (John 4:25-26)

The Messiah

The prophecy of a Messiah seems to have begun among the Jews in ancient times. Exactly when it began is not easily determined but the word "Messiah" first appeared in Scripture in Daniel 9:25-26 and was applied to the ancient religious idea that a prince or great leader would arise from among the Jews. Eventually, some held the belief that when he came, he would break the hold of their oppressors. When Jesus Christ came into the world, some hoped He was the Messiah who would set up a secular kingdom and break the power of the Roman empire. Of course Jesus did not do that, and some became disenchanted with Him because they did not believe that He was the promised Messiah. Instead, of a secular kingdom, Jesus established a spiritual kingdom saying, “My kingdom is not of this world..” (John 18:36).

Now as then, the question arises, "Is Jesus Christ the Messiah?" While Jesus walked on this earth, John the Baptist asked, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" (Matthew 11:3). Today, millions of Christians believe that He is the promised Messiah, but on the other hand, many people deny it. So, is Jesus Christ the Messiah or not? Some may also ask, "If He is, what proof can be given to support such a claim?” Therefore, the objective of this study is to share crucial evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. Obviously, the opinions of men cannot conclusively settle the issue. For centuries people have been divided over this matter. Therefore, we will not consider the persuasive views of Christians, Jews or any other group but will instead turn our attention to the Bible. In doing so we will hear God speak on the subject through the testimony of His divinely inspired Word.

Our quest begins with a passage from the fourth chapter of the gospel of John. In the earlier verses of this chapter, we read of a conversation between Jesus Christ and an unnamed Samaritan woman. The Samaritans also embraced the idea of a coming Messiah. Interestingly, in the conversation which began about water and thirst, Jesus asked the woman to go and bring her husband. She responded by telling Him that she was not married. At that point Jesus gave a vivid, detailed description of her previous life. He knew she had been married five times and was then living with a man to whom she was not married. Upon such revelations, the woman became convinced He was a prophet (verse 19) which led up to her words about the "Messias," "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things" (John 4:25). The response of Jesus was, "I that speak unto thee am he" (John 4:26). Not only did Jesus declare that He was the Messiah, but it is equally evident that she believed Him. Later she expressed her confidence in Jesus as the Messiah saying, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" (John 4:29).

How much significance are we to place upon her testimony of Jesus as the Messiah? The real question to ponder is, how much importance do you ascribe to the Scriptures? The passages that have been cited are the inspired Word of God. They are true, every word. If we believe in the authority of the Scriptures, then we must accept them as a very reliable and trustworthy source of information. Therefore, the simple conclusion must be drawn that Jesus is the Messiah. Not only were the words of the Samaritan woman included in the Bible as truth but also the words of Jesus Christ Who is the "truth" (John 14:6). For many, the proof is indisputable but for others there may be a lingering doubt. Therefore, we will consider many other infallible proofs.

The Messiah is Christ

Note in John 4:25, that "Messiah" is spelled "Messias." It is also spelled “Messias” in John 1:41, but in the Old Testament it is "Messiah." The truth is that though the spelling is different, the words mean the same. The Hebrew word Messiah is spelled in the gospel of John in its Aramaic form, thus the word ends with an "s" instead of an "h." There is nothing unusual about the change in spelling. It is often done as names are brought from the Old to the New Testament. Some examples are: Jonah is spelled Jonas (Matthew 12:40), Jeremiah is spelled Jeremias (Matthew 16:14) and Elijah is spelled Elias (Matthew 17:3). It is understandable then that Messiah is changed to Messias. However, more important than the spelling is the meaning of the word Messias for it means “anointed.”

When the Samaritan woman spoke of the "Messias" she also used the word "Christ." In John 1:42 we are told that Messias when translated or interpreted means Christ. Andrew said to his brother Peter, "We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." The word "Christ" is the Greek form of Messiah or Messias, so "Christ" means the same thing as Messias or Messiah; it is by definition “anointed” (Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18). The New Testament generally uses "Christ" because it was translated from the Greek language. Even though the Samaritan woman at first used the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word "Messiah," she later used "Christ" on two occasions. Jesus was repeatedly called the Christ or Messiah. The word “Christ” is found some five-hundred and fifty-five (555) times in five-hundred and twenty-two (522) verses of the New Testament. Every time someone refers to Jesus as Christ, using the names Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus, they declare that He is indeed the promised Messiah.

Prophetic Evidence

Although the foregoing Scriptures should be conclusive proof that Jesus is the Messiah, there is additional proof to be found in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Those prophecies, called "Messianic Prophecies," are too numerous to mention. They were predictions of events to be accomplished by the Messiah and which were fulfilled by Jesus. Please study the following prophecies.

(1) A prophecy regarding the unique virgin birth of the Messiah is found in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." According to Matthew 1:23, Jesus fulfilled that prophecy.

(2) The place of His birth was prophesied in Micah 5:2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." This passage is repeated in Matthew 2:4-6. This important prophecy of the Messiah was indeed fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

(3) During the latter days of His ministry, Jesus fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zechariah 9:9). Those words described the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as recorded in Matthew 21:5.

(4) The betrayal of the Messiah was also prophesied by Zechariah, "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver" (Zechariah 11:12). According to Matthew 27:3, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

(5). Just prior to the arrest and trial of Jesus, yet another prophecy of Zechariah was fulfilled. It said, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones" (Zechariah 13:7). That prophetic passage is also recorded in Matthew 26:31 and was fulfilled by the disciples of Jesus.

(6). Another prophecy of the Messiah was fulfilled when Jesus was nailed to the cross. Long ago the Psalmist wrote, "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet" (Psalms 22:16). If you know anything at all about the death of Jesus, you remember that His hands and feet were nailed to the cross of Calvary, where He shed His precious blood and died for the sins of His chosen people.

Perhaps the best known and loved "Messianic Prophecies" are recorded in Isaiah 53. Those ancient words were written approximately eight hundred years before Jesus fulfilled them. Yet each time we read them, our minds can visualize Him suffering and dying for our sins. In spite of all the agony He endured on the cross, Jesus did not cry out against His oppressors. As Isaiah prophesied, "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). When Philip preached to the Ethiopian Eunuch, he applied those prophetic words to Jesus (Acts 8:32 & 35).

One final prophecy about the Messiah is found in Deuteronomy 18:18, which reads, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." Jesus was unquestionably the "Prophet" of which Moses prophesied. No doubt the Samaritan woman had this prophecy in mind when she said the Messias will "...tell us all things" (John 4:25). The gospel tells us that Jesus "...knew what was in man" (John 2:25) and as the incarnate Word of God, He is a "...discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart..." (Hebrews 4:12) and "...all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13). No wonder He could tell the woman the details of her past. He knows all about us too, for He is the greatest Prophet to ever live. Such ancient prophecies provide us with a substantial amount of scriptural proof that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. Yet, there are many other Biblical passages which have not been mentioned but would substantially add to the foregoing evidence. Taken together or separately, the inspired Word of God gives us infallible proof that Jesus is the Messiah. Anyone who denies the fact that Jesus is the Messiah must ignore great portions of the Bible.

The Samaritan woman professed her confidence that Jesus was the Christ. Many individuals of Bible times and more recent years have declared their undeniable faith that He is the Messiah. The words of Jesus and other inspired Scriptures have echoed the divine testimony of this astounding fact. Will you add your name to the long list of those who believe this truth? Can you repeat with conviction the glorious declaration that Jesus Christ is the Messiah?

The Divine Conclusion

God inspired John to make a remarkable statement about those who believe Jesus is the Christ or Messiah, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him" (1 John 5:1). Belief is not the cause, it is the evidence of the new birth. Therefore, upon divine authority, we may conclude that people who believe Jesus is the Christ have been born again by the Holy Spirit and thus are saved by the grace of God. If we know and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, we are then enabled to understand many other inseparable truths. For example: (1) As Christ, He is the Son of God (John 6:69). (2) As Christ, He is our Saviour (Titus 2:13). (3) As Christ, He is the Lord of our lives (Luke 2:11).

We need to examine all the indisputable evidence and answer the question "Is Jesus the Messiah?" If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah as He said, what then? We should willingly profess this marvelous truth for His glory and praise. We should also: (1) Manifest a genuine and undying love for Him as the Son of God. (2) Give the worship of our hearts to our wonderful Saviour. (3) Acknowledge Him as the Lord of our life and serve in His church and kingdom. Jesus is truly worthy of all our worship and praise, because JESUS CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH!

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015