…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Messiah, Christ & Christians … what do these words mean?

What does the word Christ mean ?

John 1:41 (NIV)
41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ)

Messiah – Μεσσίας  (Messias) is the greek form of the Hebrew word in the Old Testament, מָשַׁח.

Christ – Χριστός Christos is the Greek translation of the Hebrew wordמָשַׁח

מָשַׁח – This Hebrew word means “Anointed One”  King, Judge, Prophet Priest

Jesus Christ means Jesus the Anointed One.

 John 1:45 (NIV)
45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

In the Old Testament it was written prophetically about the coming Anointed One that everyone was looking forward to.  There was great anticipation for the coming of the Anointed One, though it remained a mystery of who or when, until Jesus came.

1 Peter 1:10-12 (NLT)
10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. ….  Even angels long to look into these things.

After Jesus resurrected, He explained to His disciples how He fulfilled everything that was prophesised in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah/Christ.

Luke 24:44 (NIV)
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

 When we read the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Luke, Mark & John), let’s bear in mind the reason why they were written.

John 20:31 (NIV)
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Similarly, Mark’s gospel opens with

Mark 1:1 (NIV)
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.

The angel announcement to the shepherds in Luke’s gospel,

Luke 2:11 (NIV)
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 

In John’s gospel, in Samaria,

John 4:28-30,41,42 (NIV)
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

41 And because of Jesus’ words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

To His disciples,

Matthew 16:13-16 (NIV)
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

At Jesus trial,

Mark 14:61,62 (NIV)
… Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “I am,” said Jesus.  “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

the Blessed One = God
(source: Mounce)

Jesus the Christ, the Messiah — Son of the living God, son of Man, the Lord, the Savior of the world


In the Old Testament, only select few were anointed, only kings, judges, prophets and priests.
Jesus is the Messiah – anointed King, Judge, Prophet and Priest.
He teaches us the Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven.

Let’s look at one example of anointing in the Old Testament — the anointing of David.

1 Samuel 16:1,6, 10-13 (NIV)
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed (מָשַׁח) stands here before the Lord.”

10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.
13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

The Anointed One (מָשַׁח) will have the Holy Spirit  upon them in His power.

Let’s follow Jesus story in Luke, beginning at Jesus’ baptism.

Luke 3:15, 16 (NIV)
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Luke 3:21-22 (NIV) (Matthew 3:16,17; Mark 1:9-11, John 1:31-34)
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

In all the 4 Gospels, Jesus baptism was similarly witnessed and recorded, that is:

* Heaven was open, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus.

* God the Father testified about Jesus,
“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Right after this, Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:1,2 (NIV)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

After Jesus overcame the devil’s temptations, He returned in the power of the Spirit.

Luke 4:14-21 (NIV)
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Jesus read the Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 61:1,2, and proclaimed that He fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy.

After this,  Jesus spoke and taught with authority and power.  Jesus demonstrated the anointing of the Holy Spirit by delivering many who had demons, and healed many who were sick.

Luke 4:31-36 (NIV)
31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out! 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Luke 4:40,41 (NIV)
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

Later, John the Baptist wanted to confirm if Jesus was the Anointed One

Luke 7:18-22 (NIV)
18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

Jesus answered John by paraphrasing the fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5,6 & 61:1,2 through what He did which was seen and heard by everyone.
The signs and miracles proved that Jesus was the Anointed One.

Luke 12:28 (NIV)
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons,
then the kingdom of God has come upon you.


Here’s some of the responses of the people who met Jesus,

John 7:31 (NIV)
31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said,
“When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

John 7:46 (NIV)
46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.

Matthew 27:54 (NIV)
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed,
“Surely he was the Son of God!”

Matthew recorded that Jesus is the Messiah, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 42:1-4.

Matthew 12:15-22, 28 (NIV)
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
21     In his name the nations will put their hope.”

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 

28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

In the book of Acts, Peter testified that Jesus is the Messiah at Cournelius’ home, when the Holy Spirit first came upon the Gentiles.

Acts 10:36-38
36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power,
and how he went around doing good
and healing all who were under the power of the devil,
because God was with him.

Jesus testimony of Himself

 John 3:34-35 (NIV)
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.

and at His trial

Mark 14:61,62 (NIV)
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

 Today, Jesus asks us the same question as He asked His disciples,

Matthew 16:15,16 (NIV)
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”



Our understanding of the word Christ, helps us to gain a better appreciation of the meaning of the word, Christian.

When Jesus was falsely accused by the Pharisees as to how He cast out demons, Jesus said,

Luke 12:28 (NIV)
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons,
then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

This verse helps explain Jesus answer to his disciples in Acts 1,
regarding the Kingdom of God,

Acts 1:3, 5-7 (NIV)
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Instead of answering the disciples their question about Israel,
Jesus pointed them to the Kingdom of God
by them being baptized with the Holy Spirit,
anointed with the Holy Spirit.

In this passage in Acts 1,
Jesus also quotes John the Baptist’s prophecy which is recorded in all 4 gospels,

Mark 1:7,8 (NIV)
And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

David was anointed with the Holy Spirit as king,  prophet and priest (1 Samuel 16:1, Acts 2:29,30, 2 Samuel 6:17).

Similarly, as followers of Jesus,
we are anointed by the Holy Spirit to minister to the Lord,
and minister to others with His authority.

Acts 2:17 (NIV)
“‘In the last days, God says,I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

Acts 1:5,8 (NIV)
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

1 Peter 2 (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Romans 15:15 (NIV)
He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God

In Acts, the followers of Jesus were commonly known as “followers of the Way” (Acts 9:2, 19:23, 24:14, 24:22)

The word Christian first appears in Acts 11 at Antioch.

Acts 11:22-26 (NIV)
22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

The people at Antioch called the disciples — Christians.

Christians, i.e. followers of Christ, or one who is associated with Christ — “anointed ones”,  anointed with the Holy Spirit, just like Jesus on earth.

2 Cor 1:21,22(NIV)
21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
He anointed us,
 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Ephesians 1:13,14 (NIV)
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

From this passage, Jesus anointed us, i.e. everyone who believes.
Not just those called/ordained/qualified into ministry,
…but everyone, unschooled, ordinary is anointed by the Holy Spirit.
God has marked us with His seal, the Holy Spirit, a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.
Praise God!

Let’s look at an example of a Christian in Antioch — Barnabas

Back to the Acts 11:22-26 passage about the church in Antioch,
an example is given of a Christian in Antioch – Barnabas,
a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

a good man … a great number of people were brought to the Lord
 a fruitful witness,
who confirms Jesus words,
… But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses (Acts 1:8)

The disciples were called Christians when the people in Antioch heard and saw the Holy Spirit working through the disciples like Barnabas,
like the risen Christ they believe in.

In Iconium,

Acts 14:3 (NIV)
So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there,
speaking boldly for the Lord,
who confirmed the message of his grace
by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.

The Holy Spirit anointed Barnabas to speak boldly for the Lord, and the Lord confirmed His word with signs and wonders.

Barnabas lifestyle is consistent with Paul’s sharing on being a priest of the gospel of Christ,

Romans 15:16,17-19 (NASB)
16… ministering as a priest the gospel of God … 

For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed,
19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

i.e.,  fully preach the gospel of Christ =
by word
by deed
in the power of signs and wonders
in the power of the Spirit

Hence, we truly need the Holy Spirit to empower us to minister with His anointing.
… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.
Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)

Here’s the description of another follower of Jesus in Acts, Stephen.

Acts 6:8,10; 7:54,55 (NIV)
5… Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; …

Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power,
performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.

Opposition arose, … who began to argue with Stephen.
10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.

7:54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

What happened to ordinary folks like Barnabas and Stephen is exactly what Jesus said, when He sent His disciples into all the world,

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The disciples
… went out
… preached everywhere
… God worked with them
… God confirmed his word by signs

John 14:11,12 (NIV)
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 

Galatians 3:5 (NIV)
So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit
and work miracles among you
by the works of the law,
or by your believing what you heard?

In Acts 4 during the first days of the church , the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.  After Peter and John were threatened and released, the believers prayed in unity together.
Only the Holy Spirit can inspire believers to pray to be sent back into the fire of persecution with greater boldness and power.

Acts 4:23-25, 29-31
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: …..

29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

The disciples prayer:
… enable them to speak God’s word with great boldness
… God’s hand to heal
… God perform signs and wonders through the name of Jesus
and they were filled with the Holy Spirit
spoke the word of God boldly.

As Christians, God’s love moves us to act His good pleasure,

Galatians 5:6
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Through the Holy Spirit we receive God’s love for others,

Romans 5:5 (NIV)
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Jesus describes how others will know that we are His disciples (Christians),

John 13:34,35 (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you:
Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”


Christianese Guide | Healing



This entry was posted on May 12, 2014 by in Christianese Wiki, Foundations, Healing, Stepping Stones.

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