"Christ: Not a Last Name"
First name. Last name. In our Western society, we are accustomed to this way of writing someone’s name.
As we approach Christmas, it’s important to be aware that Jesus’ parents were not Joseph and Mary Christ. Much to the chagrin of my kids (who have asked this often), Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is an equally important part of his name—a name that is unique to him.
Jesus was fully man—a person with emotions, appetites, and needs, just like you and me. If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to relate to God, just know that he went to great lengths to relate to you. Jesus of Nazareth was and is God’s most empathetic offering.
Christ, though, is just as important. The word “Christ” comes from the Greek term “Christos,” which means “chosen one” or “anointed one.” Over and over again in the Old Testament, there were hints of a coming Messiah or a coming Christ who would not be anointed by an earthly king. Instead, this one who was to come would be anointed by the heavenly King and, therefore, would be the Christ.
As you read in 1 Chronicles 17:11–14, this prophesied Christ would come from God to “establish his kingdom” and would “establish his throne forever.”
According to Isaiah 7:14, he would be “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Though he didn’t come like we thought he would, he did come. In love, wrapped in swaddling clothes, he showed up.
When he became a man, he began inviting others to follow him. And he invites us as well. In John 1:41, Andrew, one of his earliest followers, said it so well to his brother Simon:
“We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
As we wait for Christmas, remember that we are not merely waiting for the celebration of a baby who was born. We celebrate the Christ, the fulfillment of God’s promise, the assurance that God’s Word is good, and the certainty that he can still be trusted. Thank God today for Jesus, the man, and Christ, the rescuer sent from God. After all, just as Andrew had, we have found the Messiah (that is, the Christ)!