Sunday, September 05, 2010



This myth is a simple one. We so often refer to Jesus as JESUS CHRIST that it seems like Christ is Jesus' last name. Well, it isn't. That is a myth-a common misunderstanding. The debunking process is very simple-that is, Christ is Jesus' title. It is best translated as "the Christ" or "the Messiah".

Now in order to work our way through this myth I think it's best to examine the title, CHRIST, and then the name, JESUS. FIRST-The term "Christ" literally means to anoint-to rub or smear a symbolic oil or ointment on someone to establish a person in an official position. In the Hebrew culture there were three major offices among the people of Israel-prophet, priest and king. Each of these official positions were filled with people who were anointed-sort of set apart unto the God of gods. These three offices were quite distinct. The prophet spoke God's words to the people-representing God to man. The priest offered sacrifices, prayers and praises to God on behalf of the people-representing man in the presence of God. The king ruled over the people as God's representative on earth-representing the original dominion of man. Each person who was anointed was functioning as a servant of God.

Although these three anointed positions were distinct and exercised by different people in the Old Testament, they are all three united in the one person of the coming Messiah-the Christ. All three are fulfilled and brought to an ultimate conclusion in the Christ. The Christ-the anointed one-was to be God's servant-the Son of Man.

The threefold misery of men required the threefold offices of God's Messiah. The first is ignorance of what God requires and how man falls short. This requires God's prophet. The second is guilt that occurs due to the shortcomings or sins of the people. This requires God's priest. The third misery of man is the bondage and corruption that results from man attempting to rule over man. This requires God's king to rule over His Kingdom.

Therefore, mankind desperately needs the touch and work of God's Messiah-the Christ. Jesus is born of the Spirit of God, taking on flesh to fill all three official positions of the Christ. Jesus then is able to embrace the title of the Christ. He is best known as Jesus, the Christ. To think Christ is Jesus' last name misses the point of the official positions Jesus fulfilled for mankind.

SECOND-The name of Jesus all by itself without the title is highly significant and most powerful. In order to get this in perspective we must go way back to nearly 3500 years ago when Moses was being sent by God to face the people of Israel. Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you" (Exodus 3:13-14).

From the beginning God's name was very important. His name is I AM WHO I AM. This personal name of God means that God exists and always has existed. It is spelled in the Hebrew language by four letters without any vowels. It is YHWH. Some ancient rabbis have described the name of God as like taking a breath. It is Yah-weh. And every breath you take is like saying His name. His name is revered so highly by the Jewish people that they wouldn't even pronounce it. Instead they would use the word for "lord" in its place. Even today, most Jews will not spell out the word, God. They usually write it with a hyphen, G-d.

When we come to the time of Jesus, there is a lot of emphasis placed upon the name of Jesus. In the first few verses of John it says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only.

Later in John Jesus says, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." What is it about this Jesus that is so attractive? Well, in Acts 4:12 it says, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. There is something about that name.

Remember when the Lord spoke to Ananias about what he was to tell Paul, whom Jesus had just apprehended on the road to Damascus. He said, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel."

When Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17, He makes an interesting reference about the name of God, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me."

So what is the name of God that was given to Jesus? It is Jesus or "Yeshua" in the Hebrew. NOTE what this means. It is a combination of YE, short for Yahweh, and SHUA which means saves. So, the name is YAHWEH SAVES-Yeshua. It's a combination of the name of God given to Moses and the Messianic name given to God in the flesh-Jesus-God saves!

Even more specific is that Jesus makes several claims to being the I AM. When Jesus announced to His disciples He would be leaving, Thomas said, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

To think Christ is Jesus' last name not only misses the point of the official positions Jesus fulfilled, but also misses the person of Jesus. Jesus, the Christ-Jesus, the name above all names, and the Christ, the highest position God ever established. To accept this myth is to diminish Jesus the Christ in such a way that He cannot have His way in your life. Always remember, it's Jesus, the Christ.