‘Christ’ is a Greek word and ‘Messiah’ is a Hebrew word. They both mean the same thing, ‘the anointed one’.
High priests and kings were anointed with oil as a symbol that they had been chosen by God.
The Jews, God’s chosen people, believed that a Messiah would come to save them.
The land of Palestine was ruled by the Romans, and many Jews expected the Messiah to be a military figure who would fight the Romans and drive them out.
Other Jews were expecting a prophet like Moses.
The Jewish people wanted to return to the glory days under their greatest ruler, King David.
Jesus wanted his identity as Messiah kept secret because:
|It reminds Christians that Jesus was an historical figure, a descendant of King David.||Some think it is a Jewish title – few Christians today have a Jewish background to help them to fully understand it.|
|It shows Jesus as a person who fulfilled Old Testament predictions of a leader who would come to bring peace and justice.||Some believe it can be misleading and confusing for people. To call Jesus the Messiah might make them compare him to an earthly king who uses his power in the world today.|
|It reminds some Christians that Jesus is their king.|