According to Hebrew Scriptures, the term ‘Messiah’ does not necessarily refer to a member of Trinity. This term simply refers to the anointed one, expected to take humanity out of sinful slavery. Being anointed means being divinely assigned to do whatever God appoints the person concerned. For instance, David was anointed King of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1). The prophets were anointed as Prophets (1 Kings 19:16). The Priests were also accordingly anointed (Exodus 30:30).
Whilst there were many anointed Kings, Prophets and Priests, Hebrew Scriptures point to only one person who would be anointed as Messiah. The term Messiah embraces King, Prophet and Priest in one. The quality of the promised Messiah would be King, Prophet and Priest.
The term Messiah is the same as one referred to as ‘Christ’ in the New Testament. This is because the New Testament was not written in Hebrew language, but Greek, in whose translation of ‘Messiah’ Christ is derived. The first inference of the Messianic promise is in Genesis 3:15:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” (ESV)
The crux of the matter is that the promise of one to eventually bruise the head of the serpent is not the offspring of God. But the offspring of a woman, as clearly shown in this passage of Scripture. This should suffice in removing any doubt in that the Messiah is in the category of humanity. However, I suppose the clearest description of the Messiah was by Moses:
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) (ESV).
A prophet like Moses cannot be God, just as Moses was not God. But Moses is obviously referring to the one greater than a Prophet, like him. Scriptures indicate that the Messiah would be like a Prophet. But those Scriptures also indicate that the Messiah would represent the position of Priesthood (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14) and that of a King (Revelation 19:16).
We now have to dwell on the question of who Jesus was? There is nothing divine about the name Jesus. Except that it referred to a person identified as the Messiah, in fulfilling prophesies of a promised Messiah. Though prophesied in Luke 1:32, the Messianic condition of Jesus was revealed to Peter for the first time:
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah (Matthew 13:16-20) (ESV)
The two distinct features in this passage of Scripture are in (1) Jesus being the Son of Man and (2) Christ, Son of the Living God. Apparently, people were not mistaken of Jesus being the Son of Man, who they ascribed to being a prophet, etc.? They could see, hear and relate to the Son of Man, but certainly not the Christ, Son of the Living God. In verse 20, Jesus told His disciple to keep Peter’s revelation in secret.
The New Testament Bible refers to Jesus as Son of Man, 88 times. Yet, only in Peter’s revelation do we find Him being referred to as the Christ, Son of the Living God. However, there were several others who later identified Jesus as the Christ—like the Centurion at Jesus’ death (Matthew 27:54).
Even after His resurrection, the rest of humanity identified Jesus as Son of Man. He related to His disciples and spoke to them as Son of Man. At His ascension to Heaven, the Angel declared: 11 “……Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11) (ESV).
All Scriptures point to Jesus, as would come from Heaven as Son of Man. At His second-coming, everyone will see Him exactly as He was identified, leading to His crucifixion and resurrection. While the blessed ones will identify Jesus as Christ, Son of the Living God, the rest will see Jesus as Son of Man. At that time He will sit on the throne of David to reign over the nations (Luke 1:32).
The one that was reviled and crucified on the cross was identified by everyone, as Son of Man. This Son of Man was Jesus who declared: 32 “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:32) (NIV).
(Indeed, Jesus was merely confirming what is recorded in Exodus 20:7, to those sceptical Jews?) The Spirit is portrayed in Christ, Son of the Living God—who Jesus sternly ordered His disciples to keep in secret (Matthew 16:20). The same son of the Living God is described as ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ (Isaiah 9:6).
We have all along been talking about the Son of Man, leading to His crucifixion, resurrection and His second-coming. We now have to deal with the aspect of Jesus being Son of the Living God—not identified by the rest of humanity, except the few blessed ones. Bear in mind that the identity of Christ, as Son of the Living God, is exactly what would establish His Church (Matthew 16:18). See [Where is the Church that Jesus founded?]
Prior to His ascension, Jesus was not evasive about who the Son of the Living God was—as promising not to leave the disciples as orphans (John 14:18). This is unlike the Son of Man—clearly seen ascending up into Heaven (Acts 1:11). Only in the book of Isaiah do we find the Son of the Living God accurately described:
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) (NIV).
The child born to us is the one referred to as ‘Son of Man in Matthew 16:13. Ordinary humanity were not mistaken about Jesus being Son of man. This was just as Jesus was known to be Son of Joseph and Mary. It was the aspect of Him being the Christ, Son of the Living God that could not be imaginable to ordinary humanity.
The aspect of Jesus being Christ, is given on the next segment of Isaiah’s Prophecy: “To us a Son is given.” Notice that the Son is not born, but is given to us. The same Son bears the name with attributes of the only God who created all things. This Son cannot be seen by physical eyes, except to those to whom it is revealed by God, and not by flesh and blood (Matthew 16:17).
But, why Son; and yet being God Almighty? The aspect of Jesus being Son is derived from the Child that is born to us. This merely ascribes to the fact that in the Child that is born to us, dwells the Almighty God. In other words, before the Child that was born to us, as described in Isaiah, God had never dwelt in humanity, since Adam’s fall (Genesis 3:23-24). There had not been any Son of the Living God.
Humanity are generally God’s children. But humanity lost the privilege of being God’s children at the fall of Adam. As the Messiah, Jesus comes into picture, to deal with that which caused the disconnection of humanity with their Father in Heaven. To be God’s child one needs God’s Holy Spirit. However, access to God’s Holy Spirit could not be possible, without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Interestingly, while Trinitarians maintain that Jesus is the only Son of God, the floodgates of God’s children was opened, after Jesus’ resurrection. All the disciples that initiated the early Church, became God’s children. These could not be identified by ordinary humanity—just as ordinary humanity could not identify Jesus, as Son of the Living God.
Here lies the deception, as propounded in Trinitarian doctrine. Such people assume Jesus—ordinarily identified as Son of Man—being a Member of Trinity. The Wonderful Counsellor, who is God—dwelling in those whom Jesus calls His brothers—is not known to them (Matthew 25:40). Trinitarians love idolizing Jesus who declared having come to serve, rather than being served (Matthew 20:28). See [The Doctrine of Trinity is not revelation].
The Messianic responsibility of Jesus is in showing us the way to our Father, whose identity we lost at the Garden of Eden. The Messiah’s appearance was not for purposes of having someone to idolize, as Jesus. While baffling to imagine how God could dwell in a Man called Jesus—it should equally baffle how God dwells in Jesus’ brothers.
Even the least of Jesus’ brothers, is greater than John the Baptist. Yet Jesus said John the Baptist was greater than all those born of women? (Matthew 11:11). The revelation lies in that the least among Jesus’ brothers, is God’s Son—just as Jesus is God’s Son. This is qualified by God’s presence in Jesus, just as God is present among His brothers.
The Messiah is not God, but God’s messenger who came to salvage humanity from sinfulness. Though, in reality, Jesus was God with us, Jesus was Son of Man who had all the attributes of being one with us. God remains singular, as accurately described in Deuteronomy 6:4. The idea of making Him three in one, is as fake as anything characterized in falsehood. See [The significance of God’s oneness, as opposed to Trinity].
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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