Who is the Credible Witness that Jesus is Christ?
Was Jesus the Christ? How can we be sure? Who can be a reliable and truthful witness? Who can we bank on with absolute credibility?
What does the descriptive word “Christ” mean?
To answer this question, we need to define what does the title “Christ” mean.
Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one.” This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach, or “Messiah.” “Jesus” is the Lord’s human name given to Mary by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:31). “Jesus Christ” means “Jesus the Messiah” or “Jesus the Anointed One.”(1).
In ancient Israel, when someone was given a position of authority, oil was poured on his head to signify his being set apart for God’s service (e.g., 1 Samuel 10:1). Kings, priests, and prophets were anointed in such fashion. Anointing was a symbolic act to indicate God’s choosing (e.g., 1 Samuel 24:6). Although the literal meaning of anointed refers to the application of oil, it can also refer to one’s consecration by God, even if literal oil is not used (Hebrews 1:9).
The Bible says Jesus was anointed with oil on two separate occasions by two different women (Matthew 26:6–7; Luke 7:37–38), but the most significant anointing came by way of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). Jesus’ title of “Christ” means He is God’s Anointed One, the One who fulfills the Old Testament prophecies, the Chosen Savior who came to rescue sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and the King of kings who is coming back again to set up His Kingdom on earth (Zechariah 14:9) (2).
It appears that many witnesses proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, as in:
“If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, † the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
I receive not honour from men.
But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, † and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed † me: for he wrote of me.
But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”
But, what is the context? Notice that Jesus said my witness of myself is not true (v-31) indicating don’t believe him.
Even John or any man (v-33-34) or
While not diminishing human witnessing, it is only the witnessing of the Father that is credible and should be relied upon(v-37). His works, not his claim nor rhetoric, proved that the Father sent him. Jesus set the direction of emphasis. Humans are merely a conduit to the witnessing. The actual and credible witness is the Father. The emphasis is the witnessing made by the Father.
This principle that, while humans can be the media through which this identification can be expressed, it is the Father who personally identified Jesus as a Christ, (begotten)Son of God. This is buttressed by the narrative surrounding Peter’s testimony as a human conduit:
Matthew 16:16-17 “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Similarly, in Jesus’ water baptism at Jordan river, “flesh and blood”(human) did not reveal to John the Baptist that Jesus was the Christ:
Matthew 3:16-17 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
John 1:33-36 ”Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! “
No human can surpass the Father as a reliable and credible witness that Jesus is Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, our Saviour. Through testimony of humans, this truth is expressed by the Father.
Knowing the Father was with Jesus (as YHVH) from “the beginning” (John 1:1-2) should solidify our belief that in fact Jesus is Christ, our Savior. On that fact, we “can bank on it”.
God Bless 🙏😇
1. What does Christ mean? Retrieved 1/23/2019 from https://www.gotquestions.org/what-does-Christ-mean.html
2. Retrieved 1/23/19 from https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Matt%2026.6–7
Original Post/Hyperlink: January 24, 2019