Messiah. Christ. Anointed.

Transfiguration of Jesus by Armando Alemdar Ara
Used under a GNU Free Documentation Licence

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 21

[Andrew] first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).

John 1:41 ESVUK

I love thee picture above with Jesus at the transfiguration being depicted as fire. Fire is often used as a sign of the presence of God in the Bible:

  • Moses and the burning bush,
  • The pillar of fire and cloud leading the Israelites through the desert,
  • Elijah calling fire down from heaven,
  • The Holy Spirit settling on the disciples at Pentecost.

That is what I love. What I do not love is English Bible translators. The translation has ‘Messiah’ which is the Christ. The Hebrew word Messiah is translated into Greek, the language the Gospel was written in. The Gospel writer was keen to let his readers know what Messiah meant in their language. Not so the Bible translators who consistently keep these words, Messiah and Christ, untranslated, even in verses like the one above where it is absolutely clear the writer wanted the meaning to be known. The Gospel is supposed to be good news. Jesus commissioned us to take the good news into the world. Bible translators seem to be saying, “People are looking for Jesus, let’s hide him,”


Both Messiah and Christ mean anointed. Jesus is the one that God has anointed to save his people. Some believed that God’s Anointed would be a mighty military warrior, but Jesus was not that kind of Messiah, he won the victory through becoming a servant of people, not by dominating them and teaching us to do the same. Why some Christians believe that he will switch tactics and return as a domineering military commander is beyond me, I can’t make that add up.

Jesus is God’s anointed and showed it in a life of sacrificial love. I believe that the one who taught us about God’s love will also return in love.

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