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Jesus Christ | Discipleship Prayer Day 3

Jesus ChristMessiah, Immanuel—The Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.     

–Acts 5:42

“Jesus—the Christ, Messiah, Immanuel”

In Southeast Asia is it not uncommon for children to be named simply with a number representing their order of birth. In some areas, many first born sons have the same name which, in their local language means “first” or “one.”  This name becomes and important identifier of ones place in the family, along with the rights, responsibilities, and tasks which will be required of them.

In Scripture names also carry much deeper importance than simply distinguishing one person from another. Names function as descriptions of ones personal nature (Barnabas—Son of Encouragement), physical characteristics (Esau—”hairy,” or perhaps “red”), family relationships (Jonah, Son of Amittai), calling, purpose, or identity (Jesus Christ, the Messiah). “Christ” was not a family like “Smith” or “Jones,” but rather the Greek (Kristos) version of “Messiah” which meant “anointed one.”

Children, of course are given names at birth (or at some point following birth):

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the  name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.     

–Matthew 1:21

The Savior’s given name at birth was “Jesus,” while the name “Christ” or “Messiah” describe his divine identity, his calling, and his purpose; similar to other names used to describe who Jesus was but not used as a personal moniker –

  • Immanuel (Matt 1:23) – “God with us”
  • Son of God (Mark 3:11)
  • Son of the Most High (Mark 5:7)
  • Son of Man (Luke 9:22)

Finally, as the time of Jesus’ earthy ministry is coming to an end, Jesus gives his followers three more names designed to help us know how to live following his departure:

Thomas said to him,

“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered, 

“I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE

~John 14:5-6a



→ If I must err, let it be in the direction of love… 

 

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Way, Truth, and Life (3 of 28)

Followers of the Way

“Jesus Christ—Messiah—Way, Truth, and Life.”

Post 3 of 28

The title Christ has the same meaning as messiah so when we say “Jesus Christ” we are also saying “Jesus, the Messiah” or “Jesus Messiah.”  Messiah is a Hebrew word meaning “anointed one” and could be applied to anyone who was specially designated for a particular task or role, such as a king or priest. 

So, in the Old Testament way of thinking messiah was an adjective — describing certain people and the task they were given — but in the New Testament Messiah comes to be used as a proper noun — “the Messiah” or “the Christ.” — describing the person, the work, and the purpose of Jesus, the anointed one.  In Jesus, the long-held hopes of the Old Testament people of God are realized, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. 

In the book of Psalms alone we see this played out time and time again.

  • Let the light of your face shine on us (Ps 4:6)

    The way, the truth, and the life
    In him is our life when we grow in him.

     

  • Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death (Ps 13:3)

  • As for God, his way is perfect; the LORD’s work is flawless; (Ps 18:30)

  • For I have kept the ways of the LORD (Ps 18:21)

  • You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Ps 18:28)

  • Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me (Ps 25:4-5)

  • Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me (Ps 43:3)

  • Never take your word of truth from my mouth (Ps 119:43)

  • The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Ps 145:18)

Much like the adjective messiah became a proper noun in Jesus, these three “lowercase” nouns describing three things that come from God — way, truth, and life — become “uppercase” proper nouns in Jesus.  

“Jesus Way”

“Jesus Truth”

“Jesus Light”

———————–

See the prayer from which this post was taken here.