Q: Did Jesus Claim to Be the Messiah?
Many people say Jesus was a great teacher, even a prophet, but that He never claimed to be the Messiah of Israel or the Son of God. The truth is Jesus claimed to be both.
1. A Samaritan woman said to Him, “‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’” (Jn. 4:25–26).
2. When He went to the synagogue to worship on the Sabbath, He was asked to read from Isaiah 61, a passage the rabbis considered Messianic prophecy. Jesus read verse 1 and part of verse 2 but did not read, “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Then He declared, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk. 4:21). Understanding clearly that Jesus was proclaiming Himself the Messiah, the people angrily threw Him out of the city and tried to kill Him (vv. 28–30).
3. Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt. 16:15). Peter answered, “You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God” (v. 16). Agreeing, Jesus replied, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (v. 17). Then He commanded His disciples “that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ” (v. 20).
4. Jesus told a group of Jewish men, “I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn. 8:58). Here He professed to be the preexistent God of the Old Testament who revealed Himself to Moses (Ex. 3:2).
5. Jesus told Martha, “‘Whoever . . . believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God’” (Jn. 11:26–27). Jesus did not correct her.
6. At the Feast of Dedication, the Jewish leaders asked Jesus, “‘How long do You keep us in doubt? If you are the Christ [Messiah], tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. I and My Father are one’” (10:24–25, 30). Then the Jews “took up stones again to stone Him” (v. 31), declaring, “You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (v. 33).
7. At Jesus’ trial, the high priest said to Him, “‘I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you said’” (Mt. 26:63–64). Mark recorded that Jesus said, “I am” (Mk. 14:62), meaning, yes, I am the Messiah, the Son of God.