Speaking Christian in our Lenten Journey
Titles of Jesus - Messiah
What does the name “Messiah” mean and how do we understand this title of Jesus? Messiah comes from the Hebrew mashian which translated in English is “Christ”. This title was distinctly Jewish and had no resonance in the Roman world. In a Jewish context it referred to one anointed by God for a special role. In the Old Testament, it is sometimes used for the Jewish king. But by the first century, its meaning referred to the one promised and anointed by God to deliver the Jewish people from oppression and to bring in a new era on earth. But the expectation of a messiah differed. Some expected a warrior messiah; some expected two- a king and a priest; and still others though that God would bring in a new era without an intermediary. But to call Jesus the “Messiah” as his followers did meant that they saw him as the one anointed by God to be the deliverer.
As we journey through Lent we need to connect with Jesus and determine what we understand our relationship with him to be. How do we relate to Jesus? A friend, a teacher, Messiah/Christ? Who do you say that Jesus is?
Holy God we thank you for your gift to us in Jesus. As we journey through Lent we ask that you would enable us to know Jesus by the many names he is called. Help us to realize who he is and can be as we experience his passion, death and resurrection this Lent and Easter. We ask in the name of the Messiah, Jesus. Amen.
Do you see Jesus as the messiah/ Christ? What does this mean for you? Jesus is the Son of God and his purpose was to come to earth and teach us how to live love. Did Jesus serve as a deliverer? How?
Marcus J. Borg, Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power- and how they can be restored, Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2012.