Is Jesus Christ the Messiah? What does that really mean? If you research the term it means: the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. Beyond that definition He is also the Deliverer of mankind according to Messianic prophecy. The Jewish Prophet Isaiah wrote the following in his self titled book chapter 9; verse 6:
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
In the previous installment I addressed the ‘Wonderful Counselor’ description of the Person identified in Isaiah’s prophecy. I believe verifying these attributes is key to establishing whether Jesus is the true Messiah. I also believe recognizing the ‘Mighty God’ title given to the son that is ‘given’ will further help us. What does this title mean? It implies that the Messiah (Emmanuel) will be God in flesh living with and among us. Here’s the way Jesus Christ addressed the question concerning Who He is recorded in Matthew 16:13 – 17:
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
The interaction we see here is straight forward. Jesus asked them to reveal their perception of Him after seeing He perform miracle after miracle after miracle. Some thought He was John; some thought He was Elijah; Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. When Peter responded with “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” notice He didn’t correct him. In fact, He took the occasion to reveal a profound spiritual truth: Unless you or I are drawn to Christ (by the Holy Spirit) we would not know Jesus as Messiah. If you or I aren’t being drawn to Christ what does that mean? It means we are in big trouble here’s why according to Jesus’ own words found in John 6:44 – 48:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
Very truly I tell you, the one who believes (in me) has eternal life. I am the bread of life.”
Wow! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Did He just say He was from Heaven? This is a very bold statement to make in public. Someone might think you’re crazy! To say you came from Heaven and you’re the only person on earth who’s seen God face to face. Oh and not to mention, He said He had the power to bring people back from the dead on the last day? Trust me if a mere person said those things, we would look at them like they came from Mars or some place.
There are lots of crazy people out there, but I don’t think any of them would go as far as to say they can bring people back from the dead and give them eternal life. What about forgiving sins only God could do that! Right!? There are two major identifiers that prove Jesus was indeed Emmanuel (God with us). The first one is recorded in the Book of John chapter 11. The back drop for this record was based on one of Jesus’ personal friends named Lazarus who lived with his two sisters and became so sick that he passed away. We pick up the account at verses 3 - 5:
So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, "Lord, your dear friend is very sick."
But when Jesus heard about it he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death (permanently). No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this."
So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.
Alright, Jesus is told that his good friend Lazarus was very sick or about to die. Even though this was His buddy He doesn’t drop what He’s doing to rush to his side. Instead, He stayed a couple more days in the place where He was. Eventually Lazarus bit the dust, but God had a plan. His plan was to close the door forever on whether Jesus was the Messiah. Here’s what the Scriptures go on to say in the verses 14 and 15:
Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe (I am the Messiah). But let us go to him.”
Spoiler alert: Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave after he had been dead for a few days and he came out alive; risen from the dead. How many people went around doing that in that era? How many is doing it now? And that’s just one example of Jesus healing the people of sickness, diseases, opening blind eyes, healing the cripple and raising folks from the dead. If this ain’t God something is very wrong with the picture!
To round this out to a conclusion, there was one other incident I want to share that proved Jesus was Emmanuel recorded in the Book of Mark chapter 2; verses 4 – 12. The backdrop on this account is that Jesus was in a home. People came from all over to hear Him speak the Word or witness a miracle. In fact, it was so crowded inside and outside there was no space available for these four men looking to have him perform a miracle for their paralyzed friend:
They couldn't bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why do you question this in your hearts?
Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?
So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!"
And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, "We've never seen anything like this before!"
There it is! Why believe Jesus is God? Because, He is God; Emmanuel (God in human flesh). This account is so clear it’s hard to argue against it. I’ll go into the reason why as we progress through the other identifiers in Isaiah’s ancient prophecy. Hope you come to know the Savior if you don’t already. Until next time, be blessed God willing.