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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK

PART 1 - The Preparations of Christ's Appearance (Mark 1:1-13)
1. The Title and the Emblem of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:1)

c) The Significance of the Official Title of Christ

“Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Messiah” meaning “anointed”. It is a term used to specify the kings of the Old Testament rather as a title. Cyrus, the king of Persia, himself was called christ (Isaiah 45:1). Not only kings, but also distinguished priests and prophets were also christs having been anointed with holy oil. This anointing was a symbol of the spiritual qualification divinely imparted for its discharge. The figurative use of this word has reference strictly to the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the anointed one that he may receive the right, wisdom, power, mercy, and all the other qualities required for a special function or privilege enabling him to perform his tasks in accordance with the will of God.

Through the anointed ones of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit revealed gradually that a unique Christ would come in whom dwelt all the fullness of God’s gifts. Isaiah the prophet foretold his birth in 700 BC, saying: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Jesus himself confirmed another prophecy of Isaiah, when he sat down in the synagogue of Nazareth, and quoted the prophecy which spoke of him, as he read: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)

He confessed publicly his divine kingdom before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, saying: “My kingdom is not of this world… I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:36-37).

From this evidence, we recognize that Jesus of Nazareth was not an anointed one, but the Anointed One, the Christ himself, the unique Chosen One of God in whom the qualities of all the kings, prophets, and priests sent by God are met. He is the humble King to whom all authority has been given in heaven and on earth. He is greater than all the prophets, for he is the incarnate Word of God, bearing the full revelation in himself. He is the true High Priest, having reconciled by his self-sacrifice, all men to God. He is the only Mediator in whom God meets with men.

Jesus is the priestly King who purchased the people of his kingdom with his own blood, called them into his fellowship, justified, sanctified, and changed them into a new creation that they might become a royal priesthood interceding for a lost world.

On the Day of Judgment Christ will be the Judge, for besides his deity, he is a Man and he knows what is in man. He is the Almighty who can raise the dead, as he had proved.

The greatness of Jesus Christ is beyond all human understanding, for he is the Word by whom God created all. He is the Lord of the worlds who expects our complete submission to him. He has the right to receive our worship, as he received the worship of those whom he had healed in Galilee. We find in the name of “Christ” a summary of the power of God and the ability to carry out his redemptive plan.

At the time of Jesus, the Jews knew about the prophecies of the coming Christ, and awaited his appearance eagerly hoping that he would deliver them from the yoke of Roman rule. They misunderstood God’s intents, and expected a political liberator and hero who would mobilize and prepare them for destroying their enemies, not a meek, merciful Savior. Moreover, when Jesus Christ came humbly with neither weapons nor money, devoid of any earthly power, wandering in the villages and towns, preaching the gospel of salvation, the Jews flared up, rejected the Promised One, and delivered him to the Roman governor as a political rebel to sentence him to death in shame. The Jews are still waiting for a Christ who would make Jerusalem by force the center of the world, a Christ who would raise the dead, and rule the masses with the rod of Moses. This is why many will eagerly receive the antichrist who will mislead men with his tricks, attractive persons, and deadly power, throwing nations into misery and despair.

However, the true Christ, the sympathizing, gentle Jesus has overcome temptations leading to sins bodily. He denied selfishness and with his self-sacrifice gained remission of our sins with God. He also overcame the specter of death when he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. There he reigns at the right hand of God in complete unity with him, mediating and interceding for all those who believe in him, whom he had cleansed and given the power of his Spirit as a gift and grace. As such, he establishes the kingdom of his love in the midst of the hatred of men. Christ is the King of Peace, who is triumphant over all the powers against God.

All humble Christians bear the name of their Christ in their hearts, for through faith in him, and their baptism in his name, the Holy Spirit dwelt in them when they became divinely anointed, as Peter cried out at Pentecost: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

PRAYER: O holy God, we praise you because you sent your promised Christ to us, in whom all the fullness of your Godhead dwelt bodily, and who surpasses all kings, priests, and prophets. We worship you for Christ did not overcome the world with weapons and battles, but with love and humility, giving his followers the anointment of the Holy Spirit. Please anoint us too that we may live in harmony with Christ. Amen.


  1. What is the significance of the title “Christ”?


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