How Jewish is your Jesus?
What is the job description for the Messiah?
In the Old Testament there are four mentions of an “anointed one” that refer to an individual who is not named.
I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always. (1 Samuel 2:35)
“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.” (Psalm 2:2)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1)
"Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble”. (Daniel 9:25).
If you now look up these verses in the original Hebrew (as you do), you will find that the word translated as “anointed one” is the word mashiach, transliterated into English as Messiah.
So, in terms of a wait for a special person, an unnamed “anointed one” or Messiah, there are only four relevant verses. I found this amazing because, when we look at the above verses, only two of them are specific. The first, the Daniel verse examined in an earlier article, indicates when this Messiah is to arrive on the Earth and the second, the Isaiah verse, gives an insight into his character. There are no other instances in the OId Testament where the Messiah (anointed one) is specifically spoken of. This is mind blowing.
Being pedantic, the “Messiah” that the Jews speak of, the conquering king, is never described as an “anointed one” in Scripture. The anointed one of Daniel 9:25 is no conquering king. The only place we are provided with a definition of this Messiah, in terms of what he’s going to actually do, is Isaiah 61:1.
“(The Year of the LORD’s favor) The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1).
This is chillingly exciting when we consider the one individual who, in what was possibly his first public outing in his home synagogue, did the following:
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
This man was, of course, Jesus and he identified himself, in Luke 4:18-19, with the only specific Old Testament scripture that spoke overtly of the Messiah. What I am saying here is that, with just two verses from the Old Testament, we can create a pretty good case for Jesus fulfilling the role of Messiah. How wonderful is that?