The Blog of the Good Shepherd attempts to answer the question of how Jesus can be both the son of God, and yet also be God. We will be addressing the answers given on that blog in this series of posts, as well as providing the scriptural answer to the question.
The questioner asked pertaining the meaning the words “Messiah” and “Christ,” and as to whether these words mean “son of God.” In this post, we will be discussing the meaning of the words “Messiah” and “Christ.”
We read in Smith’s Bible Dictionary, under the word “Messiah”:
This word (Mashiach ) answers to the word Christ (Christos ) in the New Testament, and is applicable in its first sense to any one anointed with the holy oil.
Studylight’s online Lexicon gives the meaning of the Hebrew word:
- of the Messiah, Messianic prince
- of the king of Israel
- of the high priest of Israel
- of Cyrus
- of the patriarchs as anointed kings
Thus, the word in the Bible, in a general way, applies to anyone who is “anointed.” As such the priests in the Old Testament were Christs, as well as were the kings of Israel.
The word, of itself, does not mean savior, son of God, redeemer, deliverer, etc. Nevertheless, there were promises in the Old Testament of one who was to come as Messiah, who would also be a deliverer, and who was to a son given by the Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Thus the term “Messiah” is often used as related to those promises. This promised Messiah was to come as the seed of the man, David, and of Jesse, the father of David (Psalm 132:11; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5); thus, in the New Testament, Jesus often refers to himself with the title, “the Son of the Man” (Matthew 9:6; 12:40; 16:28 — most translations drop the definite article in this title, making it “Son of Man”).
The Messiah, however, was to be a “son” given to Israel by Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Isaiah 9:6,7) In Luke this one is identified as “the son of the Most High.” The only Most High is identified in the Old Testament as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” In the New Testament he is identified as the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus.” Jesus is never once identified in the scriptures as the “Most High,” but only as the “son of the Most High,” the one sent by the only true God, the only Most High. — — Genesis 14:22; Exodus 3:15; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16; 17:3; 2 Corinthians 11:32; Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3.
The One who anointed Jesus was the only Most High, Yahweh. Being “anointed” by the Most High, therefore the words Messiah and Christ applied to Jesus show that Jesus is not Yahweh who anointed him. — Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36; 4:27; 10:38.
Thus, there is nothing in the term Messiah that would indicate that Jesus is both Yahweh, the only true God, as well as the Son of Yahweh. Only the God and Father of Jesus is identified as the only true God in the Bible. (John 17:3) Jesus is indeed the Son of Yahweh, the only Most High, but he is not the only Most High of whom he is the Son.
To be continued in Part 2