PASTOR'S PEN: Could there be another Messiah?

In John 4:25-26 we read this, “The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am He.”

Jesus, in that one verse and several others, claimed to be the Savior, King and Anointed One that the Jewish people were seeking.

This would be the One who would bless all people. Jesus claimed to be that One. But saying you are the Messiah doesn’t make it so.

How do we know Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah? Prophecy from over 700 years earlier gave many descriptions of the Messiah. The One true Messiah would be required to meet those prophetic criteria. Let’s see how Jesus holds up to just a few of them:

1. The Messiah would be a descendant of King David. 2 Samuel 7:12-13 tells us that the Messiah would come from the line of David and Solomon. This would fulfill previous prophecies that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham, a descendant of Isaac, a descendant of Jacob and a descendant of Judah. This was narrowing the field. It was fulfilled in Jesus, whose genealogy is found via His stepfather, Joseph, in Matthew 1:1-17 and his mother, Mary, in Luke 3:23-38.

2. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. This was predicted 700 years earlier in Micah 5:2 and fulfilled in Jesus in Matthew 2:4-6 and Luke 2:3-7. The Messiah’s lineage and place of birth couldn’t be read about and made up later. He had to be born into it.

3. The Messiah would spend part of His childhood in Egypt. Hosea 11:1 talks about this and in Matthew 2:14-15 we see that when Jesus was around the age of two Herod attempted to kill this Messiah. An angel warned Joseph ahead of time and took his family to Egypt.

4. The Messiah’s ministry would include miraculous healings. Jesus’ miracles are well known in history. He healed the lame, brought sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, healed the leper, cast out demons and raised the dead. Isaiah 35:5-6 predicted this over 700 years earlier and Luke 7:20-22 is one of the many passages where some of those occurrences are recorded.

5. The Messiah would enter Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey. If you attended church this past Sunday you may have read Zechariah 9:9 and Matthew 21:1-5. This is Jesus’ Palm Sunday entrance fulfilled just as prophecy foretold 500 years earlier.

6. The Messiah would be betrayed by a friend. David tells us about this in Psalm 41:9. Judas, one of Jesus’ close apostles, betrays Jesus 1,000 years later in Matthew 26:47-50.

7. The Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Ok, so many people are betrayed, but do you know how much they will get paid to betray you? Zechariah knew 500 years before it happened. Zechariah 11:12-13 tells us the exact amount and that it would be thrown back into the house of the Lord. Matthew 26:14-16 and 27:3-10 show how this happened to Jesus.

8. The Messiah would be beaten and willingly pierced. The most famous prophetic passage about the Messiah is Isaiah 53:4-7. This is read at most Good Friday services. I encourage you to read it. The fulfillment by Jesus is in Mark 15:3-5 and 15:19-20. Here Jesus, one completely innocent; doesn’t haggle, shout, or resist. He willingly goes where God the Father has ordained Him to go – to the cross.

These eight prophecies are only a few of the hundreds theologians have recognized. Long before Jesus came on the scene, they were acknowledged by Jewish rabbis as prophecies concerning the Messiah. Josh McDowell calculated the chances of one man fulfilling even eight of these prophecies.

The chance that one man fulfills just eight Messianic prophecies are the same as filling the state of Texas two feet deep with silver dollars and marking an ‘X’ on one of them. Then blind folding someone and having them choose just one silver dollar out of the entire state and that one containing the ‘X’. Wow! That’s quite a feat.

Could someone else claim to be the Messiah? Yes. But there is only One who meets the virtually impossible mathematical criteria.

There is only One whose claim is true – Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe me, read the verses for yourself and discover that Jesus was and is who He claimed to be, the Anointed Messiah who came to save us from our sin (John 3:16-17).