From the Editor Jul/Aug 2016
I grew up in a Catholic town. Most of my friends attended either one of the many Roman Catholic churches in the area or the First Congregational Church downtown. Had you asked me what the differences were between them, I could not have told you.
We had a Catholic orphanage; Catholic elementary schools; a big Catholic high school; two Catholic colleges; and, at one point, a Catholic hospital—which my mother preferred over the other hospitals because she liked the nuns.
The Catholic church near my home was called Christ the King—a name I did not understand. I was as puzzled about it as I was about the lyrics to “The First Noel,” a Christmas carol I learned in public school.
Why, I asked myself, do we sing, “Born is the King of Israel”? What does Jesus have to do with Israel? Why do people call him a king? Were His parents Mr. and Mrs. Christ?
One day in Hebrew school (I was about 10), someone asked, “Who was Jesus?” We all wanted to know.
Our teacher replied, “He was a prophet.” How is that possible? I thought. A Gentile prophet? That made no sense. There were no Gentile prophets. All the prophets were Jewish.
Then some boy piped up, “He was Jewish, wasn’t He?” Another shock! Jewish? Are you kidding? Mr. and Mrs. Christ were Jewish? That was when I discovered Jesus’ mother, Mary (née Miriam), and His father, Joseph, were Jewish. So where did the word Christ come from?
It was many years later that I learned Christ is His title, not His name. His name is Jesus the son of Joseph; in Hebrew, Yeshua ben Yoseph. He is also Yeshua ben David, Jesus the son of David, because He is the direct heir to the Davidic throne. The word Christ means “Messiah.” And Messiah means “anointed.”
Jesus the Messiah: Prophet, Priest, and King. I was 31 years old before God enabled me to put it all together and gave me the faith to believe.
This issue of Israel My Glory explains the offices of prophet, priest, and king and why Jesus is the only one anointed to hold all three. May it take you less time to understand the intricacies of these glorious truths than it took me!
Waiting for His Appearing,