What do you think when you hear or read the words “Christ” or its equivalent, “Messiah”? “Christ” is from the Greek Christos, and “Messiah” is from the Hebrew Mashiach. Both words mean anointed. The three significant anointings in the OT where the prophet, priest, and king. Jesus, the Son of God, was the unique one anointed as all three with the predominate focus on the King. The Jews and Christians, according to the four Gospels and the book of Acts, looked for the coming King to rule on David’s throne in Jerusalem and to reign over Israel and the whole world. When they heard or read “Christ,” they thought of the King in Yahweh’s coming Kingdom. To them, ‘Jesus Christ” meant Jesus the King or King Jesus. Again, the question is what do we think?
The Gospels’ emphasis about the King and the Kingdom is undisputable. When Gabriel talked to Mary, he could have foretold many things about Jesus; nevertheless, his focus was on his kingship.
Luke 1:32-33. “Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
The Magi from the east came looking for “he who has been born king of the Jews”. After they told Herod about the king, he enquired where the Messiah was born. Herod understood that the King and Messiah were one and the same. He felt threatened to the extreme of murdering all the male children in Bethlehem from two years and under. After Andrew first met Jesus, he told his brother, Simon Peter, “We have found the Messiah”. Nathanael’s response with his first meeting was, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Based upon Yahweh’s covenant with David communicated repeatedly in the Old Testament, Nathanael and others knew that the King to sit on David’s throne would be the Son of God. To them, the phrase “Son of God” automatically meant the coming King of Israel.
Everywhere Jesus went, he preached and taught the Kingdom of God. In his first recorded teaching, called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), he referred to the Kingdom nine times. When he taught his disciples to pray, included was “Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 9:35 states Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. The jubilation expressed by the multitude when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt was due to their expecting him to immediately begin his reign as King. While Jesus was incarcerated and under interrogation, an enraged Caiaphas, the High Priest, demanded, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” To Caiaphas, Christ and the Son of God meant he was the King. The next day, during Pilate’s interrogation, he asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Pilate took a battered Jesus before the people and said, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” The soldiers in the praetorium put on his head a crown of thorns and around him a purple robe, the attire of a king, then scorned and beat him.
John 19:19-20. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore, many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek.
From His birth to his death, the King and God’s Kingdom were the focus. The reason this was so is the many OT prophecies that were taught in the Temple and every synagogue. Thusly, the people were eagerly anticipating Yahweh’s coming Kingdom that would right all that was wrong in the world. Following are some of the many Scriptures that foretold the coming of the King.
Isaiah 2:2-4. Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of Yahweh will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.
When Yahweh’s Kingdom on earth is finally established, the world will no longer know war. The weapons of war will be molded into tools of agriculture.
Isaiah 9:6-7. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will accomplish this.
The name “Jesus” (Hebrew Yehoshua) means Yahweh saves or Yahweh is salvation. His name reflected what God would do through him. The book of Revelation says that Jesus will be given a new name that will again reflect what God will do by him. He will provide perfect counsel, always influenced by Yahweh. Jesus will be the god of the new age similar to how Satan is currently the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus fathered his disciples when he was here and will do it again when he returns. As the King of the world, he will cause peace to reign. The world has never seen peace.
He will have a limitless and unending government that will include the whole world with boundless, unending peace. His throne fulfills the promise to David and therefore is located in the city of God – Jerusalem. He will establish and uphold the Kingdom with justice and righteousness just like his Father (Psalm 89:13-14; 97:1-2).
Isaiah 11:1-5. Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of Yahweh will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh. And He will delight in the fear of Yahweh, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.
Jesse was David’s father, so Jesus is a descendant of David. He will be a politician without selfish motivation or influence by his constituents, rather motivated solely by Yahweh. He will not be a representative of the people but a representative of Yahweh for the people. His extraordinary qualifications include the spirit of Yahweh and wisdom and understanding and counsel, and strength and knowledge and the fear of Yahweh. King Jesus will bring God’s Kingdom to earth and function just like his Father. He is God’s perfect agent on earth (Daniel 2:20-22).
God is perfectly qualified to judge all because He sees our hearts – Jeremiah 17:10; 11:20; Psalm 7:9; 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9. God empowered Jesus to also see the heart.
Revelation 2:23. …and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
He will delight in Yahweh. Decision making will not be according to his senses, but his spirit will be connected to the all-knowing One. In his Kingdom, there will be fairness for all (not just for those who can afford an attorney). Righteousness and justice will be meted out quickly and established by a consistent, stable person who is not influenced by mood swings.
Isaiah 16:4-5. “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you; be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.” For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased, oppressors have completely disappeared from the land. 5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.
Extortion (the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats), destruction, and oppression will completely end forever. Satan and his cohorts will be locked up in the pit. Jesus’ throne will be established in lovingkindness and faithfulness (fidelity, loyalty, constancy, trueness, allegiance).
Isaiah 24:21-23. On that day Yahweh will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for Yahweh of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.
With the reign of Jesus, Yahweh will eliminate the influence of the devil, demons, and evil rulers on earth. How glorious and holy will the world become without all the evil ones (Revelation 20:1-3)! The light of the sun and moon will seem dim compared to the light of Yahweh and His Son. The light will expose all ungodliness (John 1:4-9).
Isaiah 32:1-5. Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly. The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
Again, we are told he will reign in righteousness and justice. The government will actually provide safety for the innocent. The chosen will see, hear, and understand, thereby eliminating the constant bombardment of nonsense we endure today. Fools and scoundrels will no longer rule, rather resurrected saints and Christ.
Zechariah 9:9-10. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; and His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
Many more Old Testament prophecies can be viewed; however, the above makes the point. This encouraging information influenced the expectations of Jews and Christians in the first century. To them, Christ, Messiah, and Son of God all meant the King of God’s coming Kingdom. So, hopefully when you now hear or read “Christ” or “Messiah”, you too will think Jesus, the coming King of Yahweh’s glorious Kingdom.