“The Spirit of the Lord … has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.”
Some people think “Christ” is Jesus’ last name. But Jesus didn’t belong to the “Christ” family. Rather, Christ (or, in the Hebrew language, “Messiah”) is a title that means, “Anointed One.” In his first sermon to the hometown folks at Nazareth, Jesus declared that he had been anointed by God’s Spirit to proclaim good news to all who least expect it. Jesus could have added that for the same undeserving folk he had been anointed as a priest to offer the ultimate sacrifice for their sin. He had also been anointed as King to reestablish his God-given title.
But while Jesus didn’t take his name from the family of “Christ,” we do! It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called Christians (Acts 11:26), and they’ve been called Christians ever since. Bearing the name Christian means that we are anointed by Christ’s Spirit to continue his ministry today.
Do you take your place seriously in the spiritual family of Christ? A soldier in the army of Alexander the Great was once brought before the general and accused of cowardly conduct. This soldier was also named Alexander. Alexander the Great looked at Alexander the foot-soldier and said, “Either get to the front lines and fight, or change your name—for you bear a great name!” Jesus could say the same to us. May our obedience honor the name that Christ has placed upon us.
Lord, make us to be channels of Christ’s mission of love to this world. Through gracious words of truth and loving deeds of service, may your kingdom come. Amen.
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