There was an expectation in the land of Israel among the people of God that there would be one, a Messiah, who would come to save them from their oppressors and set up an earthly kingdom. The New Testament sheds light on the Biblical kind of “Messiah” that would come by saying that He would be the “Son of the Blessed One.” The term “Christ” in the New and Old Testament was a word that described the “Anointed One.” The word “christos” in Greek meant “anointed” and in the New Testament when the word Christ was used it was assumed that it referred to “The Anointed One” who would come and set the world right. (New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words, page 162)
As we look at the Old Testament it was believed that “God’s plan for Israel’s future was understood to include such a person as a deliverer and ruler.” (New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words, page 162) That person was going to be a conqueror, one who would bring freedom from those who oppressed Israel and its people. Many believe He would be a warrior who would come as a king and set up a royal kingdom from the line of David and then rule forever. The Old Testament concept of “anointed” was a word that was linked to two offices, one of a king and the other of the high priest. Being prophesied that the “Christ” was of the line of David, then this “Messiah” would be one who would hold both the office of King and of the High Priest. As we look at the life of Jesus, we see that He fulfilled all that the scripture called for to obtain the office of “King and High Priest.” As the High Priest, Jesus offered Himself up to the Father in heaven as the true “Lamb of God” who would take away the sins of all world and to make intercession for us. (New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words, page 162) And as a King Jesus would rule the hearts and lives of those who come to the Kingdom of God through salvation.
As I have mentioned the people of Israel had an opinion of what this Messiah would be like. When they saw Jesus and heard Him, they did not think that He met the qualifications to be that “Son of God,” “The Son of the Blessed One.” People said that the “Christ” would not come out of Galilee, seeing that Jesus was from Nazareth. They would say that the “Christ” was to come from the line of David and that would be from Bethlehem, the town of David. So, when the disciples and others called Jesus the “Christ”, the rulers did not it and did not want people to say He was the “Christ.” (John 7:41)
It is obvious that the people of God expected the Christ from Bethlehem (remember the passage in Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”) to appear but they did not think this Jesus was true, real Christ. Not only was the true “Christ” suppose to be from Bethlehem but as the Samaritan woman at the well, when in conversation with Jesus, would tell us the other aspect the Jews believed about the Christ. She said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us;” the Jewish people thought this Messiah would explain the future and the plans of God to them. (John 4:25) People of the time of Jesus were expecting that the Christ who was to come and would explain all things to them but they never thought it could be this man from Nazareth.
This Messiah was on the minds of the people of God and particularly those who were in Jerusalem during the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The two men walking to Emmaus that day of the resurrection expressed what all the people thought. They said as they walked along in despair, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” With the appearance of Jesus most thought there would be a national renewal, someone who would deliver them from their oppressors and they were disappointed because “this” Christ was not the one. Evidently there had been others who came along before Jesus and proclaimed themselves as “the Christ,” “God’s Anointed One,” just like Jesus. But none of them had the the authority and true credentials like Jesus had.
Even the High Priest got into to act by asking Jesus when Jesus was brought to him on that fateful night. Here is what the high priest said to Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” When Jesus answered, “I Am,” instead of falling at Jesus’ feet to worship the Son of God, like he should have, priest charged Jesus with blasphemy. (Mark 14:61-64) The rulers listen to Him but rejected the truth that came from His mouth. They were looking for another, one who would not call them out for their hypocrisy and take their power away.
Now we come to the scripture this morning that will reveal to us the true identity of this child of Bethlehem.