Lesson 2 – Introduction – Jan. 11 – 18 "I AM HE – The Messiah" (Christ)

        Was Jesus really “The Messiah”?  For centuries not only the Jews, but apparently much of the Gentile world, anticipated the arrival of “The Messiah”, the one who would liberate the nation of Israel from the oppression and domination of other nations.  He would bring peace and prosperity.  He would establish His chosen people as a nation, protecting and providing for them.  Although the prophets had predicted that this Messiah would be born from the lineage of David in a town called Bethlehem, people did not expect a baby.  Thirty years later, when Jesus began to do incredible miracles, to preach and to teach, and to make extraordinary claims about His identity, the response of the people varied greatly.  Some were prepared to believe immediately, while others remained skeptical.  As He continued to make very bold statements that He was “God’s Anointed One” or “The Messiah”, real controversy developed.

        As we read about the life of Jesus in the New Testament, we often come across His title “Christ”.  It almost becomes the second part of His name, Jesus Christ, but, in fact, it is His title – Jesus, the Messiah.  Rather than being transliterated from the Greek word “Christos”, it could be translated, “the Anointed One” or “the Anointed”.  By using this title, the authors of the New Testament made it very clear that Jesus was truly the promised Messiah – “the Liberating King”.  It is no wonder that when Jesus announced to the Gentile woman at the well that “The Anointed is speaking to you.  I am the One you have been looking for”, it caused a huge stir in her heart and then in the whole village.  In fact, “when they heard for themselves, they were convinced that the One they were hearing was and is God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, sent to rescue the entire world”.  (The Voice – John 4: 42)

        The message hasn’t changed, has it?  Jesus, the Messiah, came to bring salvation to all those who would believe in Him.  Through His death and resurrection He offers forgiveness and the gift of eternal life to anyone who will put his/her faith in Him.  Even more, until the day comes when He will establish His kingdom on this earth, a kingdom free from the curse of sin and death, He offers to liberate all those who are His children from the bondage of sin.  In fact, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to make His kingdom visible in this world and to be light in the darkness.  It continues to be so amazing!

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