Jesus, the Messiah…
Let there be no doubt about it, Jesus was more than just a prophet:
Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” -Mark 8:27-29, NAB
Jesus very forwardly asks the disciples who they thought He was. There was no beating around the bush. With so many rumors about who Jesus might be, He wanted to ensure that His disciples truly understood who He was.
To be considered among the great prophets, such as John the Baptist and Elijah, would be a great honor for anyone, but Jesus was more than just a prophet – He was, and is, the Messiah, the Chosen One of Israel. His mission went beyond spreading God’s Word; He was God’s Word made flesh and the foundation of a New Covenant with all of mankind.
What do we mean by Messiah? In Greek, the word means “the anointed.” The Messiah, promised to the Jews, was to come as both King and Savior. Jesus did just that. However, the Jews thought of the Messiah in worldly terms, a worldly kingdom, though we know differently. We know that Christ came not to free them from the rulers of this world, but from their sin.
Do you still believe Jesus was just a prophet? The disciples and Apostles didn’t. Actually, of the twelve Apostles, 11 out of 12 died as martyrs. Somehow, I don’t think you die a martyr’s death unless you truly believe in what you’re dying for.
It’s by no coincidence that Peter was the one to step up and first call Him the Messiah. Peter would eventually emerge as the leader of the early Church; this being his first official duty. From that day forward, Peter led the way in telling the world about Jesus, the Messiah.
Join Peter, the Apostles, and the rest of Jesus’ disciples in proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel, who came to free us from the bondage of our sins and establish His everlasting Kingdom. If Jesus were here today, what would you say when He asked you, “Who do you say that I am?”