And it came about that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the multitudes say that I am?” And they answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus’ last name is not Christ. “Christ” is actually the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Originally messiah simply meant “savior.” As prophecies of the coming savior of Israel became more abundant, however, the word messiah developed into a word pertaining to the future king of Israel… the savior that they believed would rescue them from the oppressive Babylonians, and later the Romans.
When Jesus came to earth over 2000 years ago, He was indeed the Messiah, the Christ of God. He came however, not to save Israel from their oppression, but the whole earth from sin. One evening as Jesus was praying with His closest disciples, He asked them who the people were saying that He was. Some believed He was John the Baptist. Maybe they had heard of John’s death, and assumed he had risen from the dead. Others said Elijah, possibly the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets. Yet others were content to rest at “one of the prophets of old.” To each of them, Jesus was who they desired Him to be the most. They were only looking for one that could save them from their current situation… blind of their eternal outcome. Only Peter, by influence of the Holy Spirit, was able to proclaim Jesus as the Christ, the messiah, the savior of God.
As I observe the world around us, I am amazed at the current state of our souls. Many believe that Jesus was a historical person; millions proclaim that He was a godly prophet, but few have accepted Jesus as Christ, savior of their life. Just as the multitudes in His own day, people of the world still continue to label Jesus for anyone but who He is. I one time had a person tell me that there was only one God referred to by the many names of the different religions. I told him he was right in believing there was only one God, but that He was wrong in believing there were several religions in which He expresses Himself. If you say that God can be everything to anyone, I say that makes Him nothing to everyone.
Who do you believe that Jesus is? Is He the Lord of your life? Is He your Christ… your Messiah… is He your Savior? Jesus says, “I Myself am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”