The Christ
John 7:41
Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

In order that the language recorded in this passage to have been used by the Jews may be properly understood, it must be borne in mind that "the Christ" was not a proper name, but an official designation. It is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew "Messiah," and signifies literally, "the Anointed One." The Christ is, then, One divinely selected, consecrated, and authorized.

I. IT WAS KNOWN BY THE JEWS THAT THE COMING OF THE CHRIST WAS FORETOLD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES. Although the name "Messiah" occurs once only, and that in the Book of Daniel, the observant reader of the Psalms and of the Prophets is well aware that the advent is foretold of a remarkable Being, who should in due time appear to fulfil the benevolent purposes of God towards men. Upon examination it is found that this person was predicted as Divine and yet human, as of royal lineage and authority, as the Bringer of blessings to Israel and to mankind, as a Sufferer and yet as a Conqueror, as One passing through death to victory and to dominion.


1. This appears from the insight which the Gospels give us into the minds of certain persons who lived at the time of our Lord's ministry and advent. Thus, Simeon was led to expect that he should see the Lord's Christ; men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether he were the Christ; the Samaritan woman remarked to Jesus himself, "We know that Messiah cometh."

2. The same appears also from certain tests which the Jews proposed to apply to Jesus of Nazareth, in order to verify or discredit the claim to Messiahship advanced on his behalf. They looked that the Christ should be a descendant of David; that he should be born at Bethlehem; that he should be a Worker of miracles; that he should be the Restorer of the kingdom to Israel, over whom he should rule; that he should abide forever. So far as there was correspondence between the facts of Jesus' ministry and these circumstances, so far there was a disposition on the part of some to acknowledge his Messiahship.


1. The life of the Prophet of Nazareth in some respects contradicted popular expectations. He was lowly in station; poor and unfriended by the great; he put forward no assumptions of worldly power; he went about doing good. All this was very different from what the Jews expected in the Messiah.

2. Jesus himself discouraged his disciples and friends from noising abroad the tidings of his Messiahship.

3. The authorities of the synagogue, towards the close of our Lord's ministry, threatened with excommunication any who should confess him to be the Christ. This step could not but be adverse to a general recognition of his rightful claims.

IV. THAT JESUS WAS THE CHRIST WAS, HOWEVER, CORDIALLY BELIEVED BY HIS DISCIPLES. Collecting together the somewhat scattered evidence of this fact, the student of the Gospels cannot but be impressed by its abundance and conclusiveness. Andrew, in the very hour of his call to discipleship, acknowledged Jesus as Christ; Peter, at a later period, uttered a memorable confession to the same effect; the Samaritan woman and her neighbours came to the same conclusion; Martha of Bethany gave explicit testimony to her belief of this great fact; some of the Jews, as recorded in the text, did not hesitate to express their belief that Jesus was the Christ. It may be added that the very demons over whom he exercised authority are said to have known that he was the Divine Messiah.

V. JESUS CLAIM TO BE THE CHRIST WAS ONE CHIEF GROUND OF THE HOSTILITY OF THE JEWISH RULERS, AND WAS THE OCCASION OF HIS CONDEMNATION TO DEATH. At our Lord's trial before the high priest, one of the charges against him was that he affirmed himself to be the Christ; and it was upon this, and upon the further charge that he claimed to be the Son of God, that he was deemed by his enemies worthy of death. A rabbi, a prophet, he might have professed himself to be without giving offence. But for a lowly peasant teacher to claim Messiahship was to seal his own doom!

VI. AS CHRIST, JESUS WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD; AND AS CHRIST, HE WAS PREACHED TO THE WORLD. In the discourses which are recorded in the Book of the Acts, as having been delivered after the Ascension, Jesus is set forth as the Christ of God, evidently proved to be such by his resurrection. And the Gospels, as John expressly tells us, were written that their readers might know that Jesus is the Christ. Here, indeed, are the glad tidings to be proclaimed to all men; for it is because Jesus is the Christ of God that he is the Saviour of the world. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

WEB: Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "What, does the Christ come out of Galilee?

The Prophet
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