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Friday, January 4, 2013

Jesus the Messiah

John the Baptist’s Testimony About Jesus

We read in, John 3:22-36;

22 After this, Jesus and His disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where He spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that Man Who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, He is baptizing, and everyone is going to Him.” 27 To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.
28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of Him.’

29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.
 
31 “The One Who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The One Who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what He has seen and heard, but no one accepts His testimony. 33 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the One Whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

 
The Hebrew word mashiach (or moshiach) refers to the Jewish idea of the Messiah. Like the English word messiah, mashiach means anointed.

The Jewish Messiah refers to a human leader, physically descended from the Davidic line, who will rule and unite the people of Israel and will usher in the Messianic Age of global and universal peace.

In Biblical times the title mashiach was awarded to someone in a high position of nobility and greatness. For example, Cohen ha-Mašíaḥ means High Priest. In the Talmudic era the title mashiach or מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ and literally means “the anointed King”. It is a reference to the Jewish leader and king that will redeem Israel in the end of days and usher in a Messianic era of peace and prosperity for both the living and dead.

For John, by repeating what he had before said that he was not the Christ, suggests, that Jesus was the long expected Messiah; and therefore He was superior to him in office, honor, and authority, and he was only His messenger and forerunner and sent before Christ; to prepare His way, to make straight His paths, to proclaim His coming, and Kingdom, being at hand; and that the expectations of men may be raised, and they may be ready to receive Him as the Messiah.

Now John was fully satisfied with the place and work assigned him; but Jesus came to fulfill the more important work. He also knew that Jesus would increase in honor and influence, while he himself would be less followed.
John knew that Jesus came from heaven as the Son of God, while he was a sinful, mortal man, who could only speak about the more plain subjects of religion. The words of Jesus were the Words of God; He had the Spirit, not by measure, as the prophets, but in all fullness. Everlasting life could only be had by faith in Him, whereas all those, who believe not in the Son of God, cannot partake of salvation, but the wrath of God for ever rests upon them.

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